Premium Tama v Mambala and Others, Kanengo Tobacco Processors v Mphongozidana and Others (Civil Appeal No. 72 of 2016) [2018] MWSC 5 (23 November 2018);

Primary tabs

Share

Importance: 

Flynote tags: 

IN THE MALAWI SUPREME COURT OF APPEAL SITTING AT LILONGWE

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 72 OF 2016
[Being High Court of Malawi, Mzuzu District Registry, Miscellaneous Civil
Cause Number 35 of 2011]

BETWEEN
PREMIUM TAMA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  APPELLANT

-AND

F MAMBALA & OTHERS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     RESPONDENTS

KANENGO TOBACCO PROCESSRS LTD                                                                                                                                                                                                          APPELLANT 

                                 
-AND

MPHONGOZIDANA & OTHERS                                                                                                                                                                                                                          RESPONDENTS

CORAM: THE HONOURABLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE

THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE E B TWEA SC JA
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE DR. J M ANSAH SC JA
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE RR MZIKAMANDA SC JA
THE HONURABLE JUSTICE AC CHIPETA SC JA
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE L P CHIKOPA SC JA
THE HONURABLE JUSTICE F E KAPANDA SC JA
THE HONURABLE JUSTICE D F MWAUNGULU SC JA
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE AD KAMANGA SC JA
M. Msisha SC and F Kilembe of Counsel for the Appellants.
G Liwimbi/G Chembezi of Counsel for the Respondent
C Chimtande [Mrs.] Court Clerk
M Pindani[Mrs.] Reporter

RULING/ORDER

Chikopa SC, JA
The Respondents brought this matter against the Appellants in the Industrial Relations Court[IRC] claiming damages for unfair termination and breach of employment contract. The IRC found for them with damages to be assessed. Before the same were assessed the Appellants appealed to the High Court where the appeal was dismissed with damages to be assessed by the Registrar. Before he could, the Appellants approached this Court by way of appeal but only with respect to liability.

With respect, we think this appeal is prematurely before us. For as long as the damages have not been quantified the judgment against the Appellants remains inchoate, incapable of enforcement. On the other hand, it opens the door to the real possibility for multiple appeals with parties being at liberty to appeal up to this Court not only in respect of liability but also on the quantum of
damages. As experience has shown, it, works out an injustice with successful litigants being kept away from the fruits of a successful litigation for up to six years or more. See FMB v Eisenhower Mkaka& Others MSCA Civil Appeal Cause No 19 of 201 ?[Being High Court of Malawi Lilongwe registry Civil Cause Number 25 of 2009].

It, in keeping with similar sentiments expressed in AON v Makolo MSCA Civil Appeal No 22 of 2018 and Toyota Malawi Ltd v Jacques Mariette MSCA Civil Appeal Cause Number 61 of 2017, seems to us the proper thing to do that parties should only appeal where the Court below has dealt with issues of both liability and damages to finality. Where there is an immediately enforceable judgment which is not the case herein. Accordingly it is our conclusion that the appeal is prematurely before us. The appeal is hereby delisted. Costs shall be the cause.

Dated at Lilongwe this day of November, 2018.

THE HON. JUSTICE A K C NYIRENDA SC
CHIEF JUSTICE

THE HON. JUSTICE E B TWEA SC
JUSTICE OF APPEAL

THE HON. JUSTICE [DR] J M ANSAH SC
JUSTICE OF APPEAL

THE HON. JUSTICE R R MZIKAMANDA SC
JUSTICE OF APPEAL

THE HON. JUSTICE A C CHIPETA SC
JUSTICE OF APPEAL

THE HON. JUSTICE L P CHIKOPA SC
JUSTICE OF APPEAL

THE HON. JUSTICE F E KAPANDA SC
JUSTICE OF APPEAL

THE HON. JUSTICE D F MWAUNGULU SC
JUSTICE OF APPEAL

THE HON. JUSTICE A D KAMANGA SC
JUSTICE OF APPEAL