Banya’s death reveals lack of mental health specialist in Malawi army

In the wake of the cold-blood murders of two soldiers in Ntcheu by a fellow soldier, it has raised a lot of concerns on social media about the mental state of soldiers especially those returning from missions.

Banya: MDF not aware he had mental health problems

The comment section on Facebook was a host to discussions around what might have caused the soldier to make such a drastic decision. One thing was certain; his mental state was the probable cause.

In an interview, spokesperson for the Malawi Defense Force (MDF), Major Paul Chiphwanya said they are still investigating the matter.

“We are not aware that Corporal Robert Banya had mental health problems,” Major Chiphwanya said.

He added that two years ago MDF sent Banya on United Nations (UN) peace keeping mission but does not know if that had any effect on his mental health.

The MDF spokesperson pointed out that currently they do not have a facility for psychological or psychiatric service in the various barracks in the country.

A psychologist working with the University of Malawi, College of Nursing, Moses Muotcha said military mission is very risky and can cause post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, suicidal, homicidal thoughts and rage among others.

“I dont know the setup with our military but in other countries, soldiers undergo mental preparation before they are released for their normal duties and after they come back,” he said.

He added that it is important that they have a psychologist or psychiatrist on site for the soldiers mental wellbeing.

Corporal Robert Banya hailed from Blantyre. He murdered both Corporal Keston Mtambo and Gift Magombo in cold blood last week. Allegedly the incident happened because Banya had a quarrel with his girlfriend who his colleagues were trying to protect in an onset of a violent situation.

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President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza
President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza
4 years ago

My father was a major in the Army and went to Mozambique, when he came back I know he had mental problem

4 years ago

No comment son military and the issues

Agenda Setting Theory
Agenda Setting Theory
4 years ago

Even those who shot Banya needs to go through counselling.

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