The Appellant who was one of the two plaintiffs (the other being Mr. Daniel Mbewe) in the court below, appeals against the Judgment of the High Court at Kitwe, in which she had claimed among other things damages for false imprisonment, unlawful and wrongful termination or dismissal from employment. Prior to commencement of trial in the lower court, the Appellant applied by summons and affidavit for the Respondent (Defendant at the time) to produce specified documents pursuant to Section 27 of the High Court Act, Chapter 27 of the Laws of Zambia. In giving a ruling, the learned High Court judge was of the view that Section 27 of the High Court Act cannot be used by a party to proceedings to compel through the Court, the production of documents in that party’s possession; that the provision was meant as stated in the marginal note to the provision, for summoning and compelling attendance of witnesses. Dissatisfied with the judgment of the lower court, the appellant appealed on grounds that:
1. The trial court erred at law and facts when it found that the Appellant had committed the offences charged contrary to the evidence on record.
2. The trial court erred at law and facts when it held that, it was not for the court to consider the merits of the evidence adduced during the disciplinary proceedings when it is clear from a plethora of decided Supreme Court authorities that it is the issue of whether or not the employee committed the alleged offence which is cardinal and not the procedure followed to dismiss the employee.
3. The trial court erred at law and facts when it found that despite the undisputed evidence of the Appellant of being subjected to a lie detector or test and an armed police officer waiting outside the locked interview room, there was no false imprisonment.
1. Oral evidence is capable of providing proof in the absence of documents pursuant to the evidentiary rule that a party must always endeavour to provide the best evidence that is at their disposal.
2. The test for false imprisonment is the total deprivation of a person’s liberty for however short a period by the use or threat of force or by confinement.
3. Courts must not interpose themselves as appellate tribunals within the domestic disciplinary procedures to review what others have done, that the duty of the court is to examine if there was the necessary disciplinary power and if it was exercised properly.