Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) clinical psychologist Moses Muocha says a person who has undergone trauma such as kidnapping needs psychological treatment.
Responding to a questionnaire on the kind of assistance Rumphi East legislator Kamlepo Kalua (People’s Party-PP) might urgently need after being found dumped at Kwacha Roundabout by suspected abductors on Sunday morning, the psychologist said the treatment involves cognitive therapy, psychological debriefing and physical exercise.
He said: “It must be noted, however, that people who have undergone such experiences often go on to battle the issues of trust for the rest of their lives as being deprived of freedom and being held against their will takes a toll in their way of thinking.”
Kalua’s case has stirred debate with some quarters suggesting the legislator, who is also vice-chairperson of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and third vice-president of PP, might have staged his abduction on April 30 2017 and others stating that authorities could have indeed kidnapped the outspoken legislator.
Muocha said it is also possible for a victim to stage a kidnap and mostly that is done where one is trying to avoid authorities after committing a crime or otherwise.
He said it is also possible for the kidnapper to stage an abduction just to make a statement.
Said Muocha: “There are several reasons or motivations that one might do this [self-abduction]. First of all, if a person is trying to evade authorities after one has committed a crime. Secondly, it might be just a stunt for publicity. Thirdly, if the person is not mentally stable, he can stage his own abduction or death.
“The reasons can be more. However, in kidnappings the motive might be for ransom, create sensationalism or to make a statement.”
Those doubting Kalua’s case have cited the presentability of the victim at the time he was found, notably that he appeared well groomed, as reason enough to question whether it was a genuine case.
But Muocha said it is possible for one to be well dressed and kempt during abduction.
He said: “In the case referred to [Kalua’s], it might be possible that the abductor just wanted to make a statement. He or she [the abductor] did not intend to cause any physical harm to the abductee.
“However, the psychological harm is caused. These may include cognitive reactions such as impaired memory and concentration; confusion and disorientation, flashbacks; denial that the event ever happened and even being hyper arousal.
“Furthermore, emotionally, a person may be shocked and feel numbness and switched off, depressed in the long run and guilty, among the many reactions. Also a person becomes irritable and withdraws himself socially.”
In an exclusive interview with The Nation on Monday, Kalua maintained that it was the police that staged the whole plot and that the law enforcers were bent on misinforming the public.