The law of corroboration with specific references to Zambia

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Sekaggya, Margaret.
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The domain of this study is entitled "The Law of Corroboration with Specific Reference to Zambia", This is the first study to be made in the area of evidence in Zambia thus the importance of the study. Corroboration in particular, has been a subject of great importance and a subject for discussion by the courts. In Zambia its importance and controversy culminated in the celebrated case of Phiri (E) and Ors. v The People. This case raised important legal issues concerning which there appeared to be doubt and confusion. The court found it necessary to make a definitive pronouncement of law on these issues and a full bench of the court sat to hear the appeal. This case has since then formed the basis of the law on corroboration in Zambia. It was because of this case that my interest in this study was aroused. The study is divided into Seven Chapters, The first part of the study looks at the sources of law in Zambia. This part discusses the different stages of development of the law since the pre-colonial period. The law of evidence is founded on the basis of English law which was introduced during the colonial period. It may be noted in this respect that although English law is dominant in this area of law, the courts have built up through case law a system of law which in the long run has made Zambian Courts independent of English decisions. The study makes a detailed analysis of the law of corroboration. The rationale of Corroboration is that some offences are difficult to prove with¬out any other evidence, corroborating them, or that some witnesses cannot be relied on without some other evidence corroborating what they testify to. The study examines the nature of evidence required (1) to corroborate these offences and (2) to corroborate the evidence of different witnesses. From the study it is noted that the most important areas which require corroboration are the evidence of an accomplice and child evidence. The study therefore gives prominence to those two areas and makes a detailed analysis of what decisions and conclusions the courts have made. The law of corroboration is not settled in some areas, for instance in the law regarding mutual corroboration. The study discusses this topic and analyses the general rule that witnesses who require corroboration cannot corroborate one another. Reference is made to the English (llth Report of 1972) dealing with corroboration. Finally, the study suggests that Zambia should have an Evidence Act. There are countries which have Evidence Acts and they have been working well, for instance India, Kenya and Uganda. The main problem is having the law spread in different books and law reports. This makes it impossible for the judicial officers in remote areas to keep abreast with the law. An Evidence Act will be of use, more especially now that the law on various aspects has been settled by the courts.
Corroboration (Law of evidence)