In November 2008 SADC Tribunal ruled against one of President Mugabe signature lawless policy of seizing white-owned farms. The Tribunal ruled the seizures were unlawful in that the practice was racially motivated, among other things. The Zimbabwe government was ordered to stop the seizures, allow the dispossessed back on their farms and/or pay them compensation for their property. Sadly, the Zimbabwe government continues to disregard the Tribunal judgement.
A UK based lawyer, Sir Jeffrey Jowell KCMG QC, has written not only questioning why the Zimbabwe government continues to defy the SADC Tribunal judgement but, more significantly, why the international community continues to turn a blind eye to this.
“In the interests of the rule of law and human rights it is important that questions be asked by the International Community regarding the Zimbabwe Government’s continued contempt; and that concern be expressed that the rule of law is not being adhered to,” wrote Sir Jeffrey Jowell.
Could not agree with him more! The contemptuous disregard of the rule of law is at the very heart of why Zimbabwe is in this political and economic mess today.
In 1980 Zimbabwe had the potential to become a free, just and prosperous nation; the South Korea of Africa; but after 37 years of lawless, corrupt and tyranny has become the impoverished Police state instead; the North Korea of Africa. As a black Zimbabwean, I readily admit, that we, the people of Zimbabwe, have allowed the country to go to the dogs.
We were foolish in electing a corrupt and murderous tyrant like President Mugabe in the first place and compounded our folly be allowing him to stay in power for the last 37 years! his thugs into power and allowing the regime to destroy the nation all these last 37 years. When elected Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends to end the Mugabe dictatorship we clearly had learned nothing from the past blunders. Tsvangirai & co. have turned out to be just as corrupt and incompetent as Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies.
During the 2008 to 2013 GNU, MDC leaders are the golden opportunity to implement the democratic reforms and draft a new democratic constitution designed to end the Zanu PF dictatorship and replace it with a healthy and functional democracy. They failed to get even one democratic reform implemented and sold the nation a weak and feeble new constitution.
President Mugabe “dictated” the new constitution, boasted the Zanu PF MP Paul Mangwana, who was the co-chairperson of the parliamentary committee that drafted the constitution. It is no surprising then that racist clause on the land issue found its way into the new constitution!
“The (racist) clause was reproduced in the new 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe and continues to be used in defiance of the SADC Treaty and all the human rights charters that Zimbabwe is signed up to,” note the learned lawyer.
Many Zimbabweans now realise our folly in allowing a tyrant like President Mugabe place himself and his henchmen above the law. We are now fighting hard to end the dictatorship, it is not easy to do so especially when keep shooting ourselves in the leg by doing such stupid things as adopting a weak and feeble constitution! We are not too proud to admit we made mistakes and to seek help!
Zimbabweans therefore readily join Sir Jeffrey Jowell KCMG QC in asking SADC and the international community not continue to turn a blind eye to the lawlessness in Zimbabwe. The only logical way to end the corrupt and tyrannical Mugabe rule is for the country to implemented the democratic reforms and thus ensure free, fair and credible elections.
President Mugabe agreed to these reforms in the agreement leading to the GNU, he has never denied that none of the reforms were implemented. The international community must now remind the regime to implement the reforms BEFORE the next elections.
Zimbabwe’s continue political and economic chaos has caused untold suffering to the people of Zimbabwe; unemployment has soared to 90% plus, millions now live in abject poverty, etc. The economic meltdown in Zimbabwe has slowed down economic development of the whole of Southern Africa region and, if nothing is done to end the crisis, it is going to will threaten peace and stability the region!