Mentally challenged girl unfit to consent in alleged assault case – Psychiatrist


A LUSAKA courtroom witnessed a heart-wrenching scene yesterday as a 16-year-old girl, allegedly violated by a tyre mender, was deemed incapable of consenting to sex due to intellectual disability.

Dr Edwin Mumba a psychiatry registrar at Chinama Hills College said the girl whose name remains protected, couldn’t speak for herself because her reasoning was impaired and couldn’t follow instructions.

This is in a matter where Israel Zulu is charged with defilement of an imbecile before the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court.

Giving a mental status report before magistrate Mutinta Mwenya Mumba narrated that during assessment the patient’s speech was incoherent and couldn’t properly pronounce certain words.

He said the juvenile’s behavior was disorganized and she would zone out of conversations.

“She was not well dressed. Upon completion of assessment I recommended treatment and kept her in a ward at the mental health hospital,” Mumba said.

He indicated that on December 27, 2023 the hospital received a letter from Westwood police station requesting for the mental status of the survivor.

“I wrote a medical report indicating the condition of the patient but I couldn’t give a detailed report without a court order. I received summons to give expert evidence,” Mumba said.

He disclosed that during mental assessment he noticed that the girl’s speech was incoherent.

“Her memory and concentration was affected and she wouldn’t follow instructions. Her functions of knowledge were affected and calculation was also affected she couldn’t count from one to 10,” the Psychiatrist explained.

Musonda said the patient’s intelligence quotient (IQ) was below average.

“Normally a person’s IQ is supposed to be above 85 but for the victim it was below 49. A diagnosis of Intellectual disability was arrived upon and according to this condition a person can’t consent to certain acts,”said Musonda.

When given an opportunity to cross-examine the psychiatrist, Zulu indicated that he could not challenge his findings.

By Mwaka Ndawa

Kalemba February 8, 2023.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here