Categories: Africa

Zimbabwe farmers launch compensation rights group

Commercial Zimbabwean farmers have launched the SADC Tribunal Rights Watch to seek compensation for the loss of their farms and…

The farmers’ legal team served notice on President Robert Mugabe; the Minister of State in the Office of the President; Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement, Douglas Mombeshora; the Minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa; and the Zimbabwean government earlier in August.

The notice was served under the Southern African Community Development Community’s (SADC) protocol on finance and investment.

“Our dispossessed Zimbabwean farmers have been wronged,” said SADC Tribunal Rights Watch spokesperson, Ben Freeth.

Freeth said the farmers have a final and binding 2008 judgement from the SADC Tribunal, which ordered the Zimbabwe government to pay fair compensation for land it had expropriated.

The government has failed to comply with the order. Freeth added that unless accountability deepened, “no investment will take place in our country” and the economic crisis would worsen. He said that without property rights and the rule of law, Zimbabwe’s negative trajectory as a failed state would accelerate.

The finance and investment protocol, which came into force in April 2010, offers all SADC investors legal protections, which include the right to prompt, adequate and effective compensation with respect to expropriated investments, and to fair and equitable treatment, including protection against denial of justice.

In the case of investments seized in violation of the protocol, the first step to settle the dispute is through dialogue. If there is no settlement, the next step is arbitration.

At the SADC Summit in 2012, the SADC heads of state restricted regional citizens’ access to the SADC Tribunal, denying citizens legal recourse, regardless of their countries’ policies.

The SADC heads of state resolved that a new protocol on the tribunal be negotiated and its mandate confined to interpretation of the SADC treaty and protocols relating to disputes between member states.

In May 2017, SADC heads of state signed an amendment to the protocol that aimed to stop investors from seeking redress through it.

Recent Posts

How to implement a succession plan

The importance of a succession plan for a farming business cannot be underestimated, and must be prioritised.

5 hours ago

Hemp production could soon be legal

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has formally requested the Department of Health and the Department of Justice…

5 hours ago

Small Simmentaler stud takes on the country’s best

The size of an operation counts less than dedication, persistence, insight and quality genetics. Operating on a modestly-sized parcel of…

1 day ago

‘Diesel now second highest input cost’ – Grain SA

The Automobile Association of South Africa is forecasting record increase in fuel prices for October, including a possible R1,38/litre increase…

1 day ago

When losses are not deductible

Stock in trade is the lifeblood of a business. When stock is lost, or destroyed, the loss normally gives rise…

2 days ago

Enjoy the taste of fresh garden peas!

These days, most people opt for frozen peas for convenience. They don’t know what they’re missing, says Bill Kerr. Fresh…

3 days ago

This website uses cookies.