A PSYCHIATRIST has established that lieutenant Nigel Mwaba, an army officer accused of murdering his lover, Dr Tasila Tembo, has borderline personality disorder and that the act “murder” might have been caused by a break down in his defense mechanism during the time of the alleged offense.
Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness characterised by unstable interpersonal relationships, moods and impulsivity. Dr P. Musoni of Chainama Hills Mental Hospital has however certified that Lt Mwaba is of sound mind and can undergo trial.
In this matter, Lt Mwaba is alleged to have murdered Dr Tembo between October 24 and 26, 2020 after she decided to end their relationship. When the matter came up for commencement of trial, High Court judge Wilfred Muma read out Lt Mwaba’s psychiatric results which revealed that his mental illness had deteriorated when he allegedly committed the offense.
“Nigel Musonda Mwaba has Borderline personality disorder characterised by unstable interpersonal relationships, variable moods and impulsivity. He may have been predisposed to this disorder by environmental factors and the disorder maintained by his drinking repertoire.
At the time of the alleged offense, the act may have been precipitated by an emotional decompensation consequent upon an imminent loss,” read the psychiatric results.” Is is my opinion that he had the above disorder at the time of the alleged offense. His cognitive (thinking) process is normal and has no perceptual disorders. He has insight.
It is further my opinion that he is fit to make a plea, stand trial and follow the proceedings of the Court.” After justice Muma read the psychiatric results, Lt Mwaba took fresh plea to a charge of murder and denied committing the capital offence.
At this point, his lawyer O’Brien Kaaba applied for an adjournment on ground that the state had added four more witnesses to the list of witnesses and that the defense needed to study the four witness statements which were earlier given to them by the Director of Public Prosecutions Lillian Siyunyi.
“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,” Kaaba said.”
In accordance with the law, the state was supposed to have presented the witness statements 14 days before the date of the trial. The new evidence served on the defense will have an impact on what the defense team has already prepared therefore the 14 days should apply.”He said considering the seriousness of the offence that the accused was charged with, it was proper that he is given enough time to prepare.
The DPP did not object to the application for an adjournment as the nature of the offence allowed that the accused be given enough time in order to defend himself.
Judge Muma adjourned the matter to April 28 and 29 for commencement of trial.