Uganda: Mental Illness Rapidly Rising Under Museveni’s Demented Dictatorship

By Zacharia Kanyonyozi 


Last week, Uganda observed World Mental Health Day and it has been noted by experts that there is dramatic increase in mental illness cases ranging from various forms of depression characterized by a spike in substance abuse in the country.

This alarming picture is best encapsulated in the fact that Butabika National Mental Health Referral Hospital reports that it is currently operating at 200% capacity, far exceeding its initial capacity with the surge in patients seeking mental health care.

Dr. Juliet Nakku, the Executive Director of Butabika National Referral Hospital, was unequivocal in emphasizing this.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented influx of patients seeking help for mental health issues. The numbers have far exceeded our capacity,” she said.

Many people blame the distressing economic realities in Uganda.

However, if you look deeper, you will see how the politics has caused Ugandans to lose their minds, as it were, in the face of a mindless Military Junta helmed by Papa Doc-incarnate, Gen. Museveni.

Don’t look so surprised, dear reader; there is causative link between totalitarian regimes and mental illness.

Let us explain this.

The predatory totalitarian state, in order to legitimize its own existence, continually invents internal and external enemies.

In the process, an oppressive environment in which there is a continuous internal and/or external war against imaginary enemies, leads to armed forces being bolstered to take on these said chimeras.

Inevitably, there is a marked diversion of state resources to beefing up the security forces and the dictator’s war chest against democracy to the neglect of health and social services, including mental health.

Dear reader, allow us to delve deeper here.

Parliament passed the 2023/2024 National Budget on Thursday, 18 May 2023. This parliamentary session was chaired by Speaker Anita Among.

It was a Shs52.7 trillion budget with the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs being allocated Shs3.8 trillion, initially.

State House or Dictator Museveni’s personal house of ill repute bagged Shs417.9 billion, the domestic spy agency, Internal Security Organisation, grabbed Shs13 billion more to support intelligence gathering, while the External Security Organisation was allocated Shs5 billion to support intelligence gathering.

While the Ministry of Health was given Shs500b, an amount even Dictator Museveni’s State House budget is almost matching.

Yet the Ministry of Health budget must serve close to 46 million Ugandans while the State House budget is Dictator Museveni’s personal kitty, used frequently for his patronage machine and to finance his hit squads.

This not a majority of one, it is the majority of a Gun.

Please note that the bulk of defense expenditures are shrouded under the cloak of classified budgets and are always bolstered by supplementary expenditures.

Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju and four other MPs recently queried the way the government plays around with classified expenditure while scrutinizing Vote 004 of the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs.

“The government has had a contractual commitment on classified expenditure that has cost Uganda a total of Shs16trillion over the contractual period,” the report notes. “The outlay for FY2022/2023 was Shs1.9trillion. This project has lapsed and will end in June 2023.”

Semujju and colleagues pinned the Ministry of Defence further, “Ironically, in this supplementary schedule for this year a sum of Shs339.8billion was moved from this contractual commitment and allocated to shortfalls in the wages for the UPDF.”

Semujju added: “To our surprise under the budget estimates for FY 2023/24, a sum of Shs1.9trillion (the amount previously allocated to the contractual commitment has been allocated to retooling under classified expenditure without following the retooling guidelines of the Public Finance Management Act.”

Also recall that the monies expended on the armed forces support the institutionalization, bureaucratized and normalization of torture under Dictator Museveni.

As a consequence, a variety of psychiatric disorders have arisen from this state of affairs as victims of state violence and repression suffer from post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety disorders.

It has been noted by health professionals that such victims suffer from a number of somatic symptoms including sexual dysfunction, chronic hyperventilation syndrome and cognitive impairment akin to pseudodementia.

In Northern Ugandan, due to the two decades of civil conflict fueled by the Museveni Junta, the region has one of the highest levels of post-traumatic stress disorder in the world, with an estimated prevalence of 54%!

But let us not forget that Uganda’s biggest mental health issue belongs to the Museveni Junta.

Dictator Museveni has a personality disorder that arises out of a combination of paranoid and narcissistic traits similar to Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin and Saddam Hussein.

Like these tyrants, Dictator Museveni also exhibits traits of antisocial and sadistic personality disorders. Thus his narcissistic personality disorder along with sadistic, paranoid and antisocial features, may be referred to as “malignant narcissism.”

Stalin and Hitler were the same.

As with them, Dictator Museveni’s lack of empathy and a lack of guilt or remorse for the suffering his policies cause, as well as deliberate cruelty, megalomania is an extreme pathological narcissism mixed with the traits of psychopathy.

Milton Obote, in his classic work “Notes on the Concealment of Genocide”, called Dictator Museveni’s condition “dementia.”

Indeed, this man, Dictator Museveni, will lead Uganda into the abyss in the same way Hitler led Germany. But we shall eventually prevail, as Germany did, for Dictator Museveni will never be bigger than Uganda…no matter what the perverse voices in his head tell him.

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