By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
DOCTOR Tasila Tembo’s alleged killer, Zambia Army officer, Lieutenant Nigel Mwaba had a mental disorder at a time he committed the offence, a mental assessment report has revealed.
Consultant psychiatrist from Chainama hospital, Dr Patrick Msoni said the personality disorder was further precipitated by imminent loss.
Dr Msoni however, said that Mwaba is fit to make a plea, stand trial and follow the proceedings in court.
Facts of the offence are that between October 24 and 26, last year in Lusaka, Mwaba, 33, did murder Dr Tembo, alleged to be his lover.
Mwaba’s lawyers on February 1 applied that the accused undergoes a mental checkup at Chainama Hospital for condition or conditions of disruptive, impulse-control and conduct disorder. This is a disorder that can cause a person to behave angrily or aggressively toward people or property.
“On the basis of the above information, observations and findings Nigel Musonda Mwaba has Borderline Personality Disorder characterised by unstable interpersonal relationships, variable moods and impulsivity.
“He may have been predisposed to the disorder by environmental factors and the disorder maintained by his drinking repertoire. At the time of the alleged offence of the act may have been precipitated by an emotional decompensation consequent upon an imminent loss,” said Dr Msoni.
“It is my opinion that he had the above disorder at the time of the alleged offence. His cognitive (thinking) process is normal and has no perceptual disorders. He has insight,” he concluded.
Judge Wilfred Muma read the report when the matter came up for commencement of trial. Mr Justice Muma then ordered for Mwaba to take a fresh plea and he again denied killing Dr Tembo.
The matter could not however proceed to trial because Mwaba’s lawyers from the Legal Aid Board were not ready and applied for an adjournment.
“We are unable to proceed owing to the fact that we were served with four new witness statements on Friday and considering that it was a weekend in between, we were unable to confer with the accused in order to get instructions,” Dr O’ Brien Kaaba told the court.
Dr Kaaba said in accordance with the law, the State was supposed to serve the witness statements 14 clear days before the date of trial.
He said the new evidence served on them will have an impact on what the defence team has already prepared therefore the 14 days should apply.
“And considering the seriousness of the offence the accused is charged with, it is proper that he is given enough time to prepare. The lead counsel in the matter is not also before this court. In the circumstances we are unable to proceed, therefore asking for an adjournment,” Dr Kaaba said.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Lillian Siyuni said that although the State had prepared four witnesses to take the stand, they would not object to the defence’s application for an adjournment.
“The nature of the case warrants that he be given enough time in order to defend himself. On that ground we have no objection,” Ms Siyuni stated.
Mr Justice Muma granted the application and adjourned the matter to April 28 and 29 for commencement of trial.
And the State applied for the addition of four more witness to the list bringing the total number of witnesses in the case to 37, which the Judge granted. WOMEN