Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Zimbabwe: Government Ignores Court Order

(Dec. 15, 2008) It was reported on December 1, 2008, that according to the Lands Minister, Didymus Mutasa, the Zimbabwean government is going to step-up expropriation of farm land owned by white farmers, in defiance of the South African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal's recent ruling on a suit brought by white land owners. The SADC tribunal ruled on November 28, 2008, that Zimbabwe should allow 78 white commercial farmers to keep their land and duly compensate three farmers who have already lost their land. (Zimbabwe's Government Defies Court on Land Reform, AP, Dec. 1, 2008, available at; see also Ruling on Land Expropriation in Zimbabwe, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR, Dec. 5, 2008, available at

The SADC tribunal is a Namibia-based subregional tribunal created in 1992 under article 9 of the SADC treaty. It became operational in November 2005. It has jurisdiction to hear appeals from citizens of the 14 member states who have exhausted local remedies. States subject to its jurisdiction are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It has five permanent elected judges and five alternate judges. The Tribunal does not have the machinery to enforce its rulings. (Tribunal of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), AICT [African International Courts and Tribunals] website, (last visited Dec. 8, 2008).)