Defendant called by the Plaintiff as a witness

A company in which I am a managing director has a civil suit with an individual who is the plaintiff in the suit and our company is the defendant. I have received a summons from Court requiring me to attend the Court as the plaintiff’s witness. Can I refuse to attend the Court as plaintiff’s witness on the ground that I am conflicted because I cannot be a witness for the plaintiff and the defendant in the same matter?
HR, Mtwara

Section 131 of the Evidence Act makes the parties to the civil suits and their witnesses competent and compellable. Since you have been summoned by the Court, you have to obey the Court summons and attend the Court. However, being competent and compellable does not mean you have to give evidence in favour of the plaintiff. There is a recent decision of the Court of Appeal allowing a plaintiff to call the defendant as his witness. The competency and compelability of the witness is not measured by the position the witness is holding in the case. Besides, the law does not bar the defendant who has testified for the plaintiff from appearing again for defence side when the case is set for the defendant’s hearing. It might actually work to your benefit. Your lawyer can guide you further.