This is an appeal against a judgment of the High Court where the Appellants claim against the Respondent, as grantor of a certain facility, was dismissed.
The brief facts are that the issue is on the construction of the payment guarantee between the Appellant as the creditor, Celpay Zambia Limited as the principal debtor, and the Respondent as surety. The Appellant believed that the purpose of the Payment Guarantee was for money collection. However, the Respondent asserted that the Payment Guarantee was intended to secure payments in respect of airtime stock which Celpay Zambia Limited was to purchase from the Appellant on credit. Judgment was given in favour of the Respondent and the Appellant has appealed.
1. An appellate court should not ordinarily disturb or tamper with the findings of fact made by a trial court, especially if those findings and conclusions reached are supported by a proper assessment of evidence.
2. A guarantee is essentially a contract of an accessory nature, being always ancillary and subsidiary to some other contract or liability on which it is founded, without the support of which it must fail.
3. A contract of guarantee should be strictly construed in favour of the surety. The payment guarantee was intended to secure payments in respect of airtime stock which Celpay Zambia Limited was to purchase from the Appellant on credit
4. The contra proferentem rule is one of the last resorts where there is genuine ambiguity in the document itself and not in two different contractual documents.