Local jurist raps regional leaders

via Local jurist raps regional leaders August 21, 2014 by Paidamoyo Muzulu

LAWYER Chris Mhike has rapped Southern African leaders for turning the Sadc Tribunal into a preserve for political elites and bureaucrats where ordinary individuals have no access to even in cases where they have been aggrieved by their respective governments.

Mhike’s comments came after Sadc Heads of State and Government endorsed a new Tribunal protocol that bars individuals from approaching the court with their grievances.

“Denying citizens locus standi in the manner our rulers proceeded on this issue, amounts to a disastrous departure from the established democratic tradition of government of the people, by the people, for the people,” Mhike said.

“International law is not, and should not be the exclusive domain of governments and bureaucrats who sit in high offices. Useful law is accessible to all.”

The Sadc Tribunal was reconstituted after Zimbabwe protested against the previous tribunal’s judgments which were in favour of white former commercial farmers whose land had been seized under the Zanu PF government’s land reform programme.

The farmers, led by Mike Campbell, approached the Tribunal, arguing that Zimbabwe’s land reform was discriminatory against whites and, therefore, racist.

The farmers went on to attach Zimbabwe consul properties in South Africa to recover their costs and damages, but the matter stalled after Harare appealed.

The Tribunal was then disbanded in 2012 at the Maputo Sadc Summit and the member states agreed that the new protocol on the Tribunal should be negotiated and its mandate confined to interpretation of the Sadc Treaty and Protocols relating to disputes between member states only.

It remains unclear whether the Tribunal will maintain its headquarters in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital.

The Tribunal was signed by all members of the bloc. These are Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


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    The SADC tribunal has become a paper tiger and will shrivel into insignificance in some dusty corner of Windhoek …
    SADC leaders should look on at this with a sense of shame.

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    its called denial of human rights.sadc want the rule of the jungle due lack of evolution.

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    JRR56 8 years ago

    Did anyone realistically expect anything else

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      Petal 8 years ago

      100% right these leaders are the most corrupt – have go at the All useless Club (AU)

      “new Tribunal protocol that bars individuals from approaching the court with their grievances.” what a silly stupid Tribunal one has ever heard in their life- individuals should be allowed to approach it – The Tribunal is serving the Dictators of the Club-continue your fight for the Tribunal to be accessible by all

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    Chiwoniso D 8 years ago

    What good did you expect with zimbabwe becoming the new chair? Zim authorities are always scared of anything which guarantees freedom and justice to the people. God knows why. May be they are too obssessed with power. “Always instilling fear in the povo so as to rule”.

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      Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) 8 years ago

      There was no way the ZANUPF led govt would accept tht SADC Tribunal to be used to challenge our legitinate land revolution. t

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    Petal 8 years ago

    The Lawyer should go further saying failing an individual to approach the Tribunal – one way ICC – everyone knows that it stands for