Zim Farmers To Seek Justice At International Courts

A recent SADC summit held in Windhoek, Namibia, suspended the Tribunal by a year arguing that it was not properly constituted.

The move dealt a severe blow to the white commercial farmers fighting the Zimbabwe government at the regional court over their eviction from their farms.

But Deon Theron, the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) president told Radio VOP that the white commercial farmers will for now seek justice at the international courts, pending the lifting of a one year suspension of the SADC Tribunal.

“We have no option but to turn to the international courts to seek justice since the SADC Tribunal has been suspended. We are not deterred and we will continue with the legal battles against the Zimbabwe government elsewhere,” Theron said in an interview.

The SADC Tribunal raised hope among white commercial farmers that their grabbed farms will be returned back to them after the regional court’s rulings.

Farmers had also hoped that the Tribunal would put an end to the continuing farm invasions.

However, Zimbabwe had always argued that the tribunal’s verdict did not apply to the country.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa insisted that Zimbabwe would no longer participate in further hearings at the Windhoek-based regional court, saying that the country was not bound by the court’s decisions.

The Tribunal in November 2008 ruled in favour of 78 white farmers who were challenging President Robert Mugabe’s land reform programme on the grounds that it discriminated against them on the basis of the colour of their skins.