A psychiatrist testifies in Dr Tembo’s murder case
A psychiatrist has told the High Court that Nigel Mwaba, the army officer accused of killing doctor Tasila Tembo had Borderline personality disorder.
Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness that severely impacts a person’s ability to regulate their emotions.
Patrick Msoni, a constant psychiatry at Chainama Hills Hospital, narrated that the disorder leads the patient to have abnormal patterns or behaviour which is not consonant with cultural and societal norms.
Dr Msoni said this yesterday during opening of Mwaba’s defence after Lusaka High Court Judge Wilfred Muma found him with a case to answer last week.
This is a matter in which Mwaba, then aged 33, is alleged to have murdered his girlfriend, Dr Tembo, 47, a former Ministry of Health deputy spokesperson, between October 25 and 26, 2020, after a dispute.
When the case came up for opening of defence, Mwaba’s lawyers said they would call a witness to aid their client’s defence before he takes the stand.
When Dr Msoni took stand, he narrated that he had conducted an examination on Mwaba and found that he had had Borderline personality disorder.
“Major characteristics or behaviour include unstable but intense relationships.Outbursts of anger, are impulsive and usually go against the law,” he said.
Dr Msoni said the major cause of the disorder are both genetic and the environment and that the condition is lifelong.
“After getting history, the environmental factors, stress related, caused him to have the disorder.
“The dynamics in the family. The client experienced trauma as a result of the dynamics within the family,” he said.
Dr Msoni also said Mwaba showed arrogance during the examination.
“This [of arrogance] is part and parcel of borderline personality disorder,” he said.
The doctor also noted that the accused showed no emotional guilt in relation to what he was accused of have done.
Asked if people with the disorder are cognizant of their actions, the doctor replied in the affirmative.
Further asked if some clients could pretend to have the disorder, Dr Msoni said yes but that it is difficult to detect.
The matter was adjourned to today and Mwaba is expected to give his defence.