End of looting is nigh

EDITOR - Very decisive moments await us in the coming six months. The whole Zimbabwe crisis of legitimacy centred around the often violent Land Reform could be settled therein.

The issue of the re-establishment of the SADC Tribunal offers us that. Rather than being the triumph of politics over justice as some said, the decisive action by SADC might go a long way in settling the whole crisis.

It has become very apparent that the actions of the government were unlawful in terms of international law. I will not dwell on the historical subject of reclaiming ancestral lands. International law makes it very clear that the fact that those farmers held authorised legal title to land means they were supposed to be compensated for the acquisition of the land. It also makes it very clear it is the state which must compensate that. Zimbabwe is bound by these international laws. If the Zimbabwe government felt that Britain had not honoured its part of the Lancaster agreement, it was supposed to bring this issue to the United Nations with proof or take it to an international court or even ask SADC to intervene on its behalf before they decided to resort to jambanja. However, they ignored all this and are apparently guilty of tramping on the rule of law.

The SADC Treaty makes it very clear that rights of all citizens should be protected by the state. By enacting Amendment 17 in 2005, the Zimbabwe government trampled on the rights of the farmers who fell victim to this harsh law. It was an amendment that authorised compulsory acquisition of land without compensation for its value. It is now a question of whether its the constitution which should rule the roost or international law and human rights.

I urge the Prime Minister and his party to actively fight for the human rights and recognition of the SADC Treaty in Zimbabwes courts. It is becoming apparently clear that this land redistribution exercise was unlawful in terms of international law. As long as the farmers remain uncompensated, all of us Zimbabweans have a debt to pay. This is an issue which has nothing to do with imperialism vs. sovereignty. Its about recognising internationally accepted norms and human rights.

Let it be very clear to everyone that what the Zimbabwe government is trying to do is to evade its obligation under the SADC Treaty by the simple method of domestic legislation. You cannot sign a treaty and do the opposite of what it says and expect everyone to respect that. It is either the Zimbabwe government withdraws its signature from the treaty and thereby go it alone or they abide by the treaty and accept the rulings of its Tribunal. It is totally unacceptable to ignore this.

In a prophecy directed to Zimbabwe in 1998, Cindy Jacobs predicted that the whole issue of Zimbabwes economic woes would be settled by a Treaty written with other nations. Zimbabwe is an agro-based economy and by tramping on property rights, the government effectively affected the whole economy. The evolving situation in Zimbabwe is a collective responsibility. We must all move towards the recognition of human rights, property rights and eliminate discrimination. God is with us and continue to pray for our nation. KILLIAN T. MAZIBUKO, by e-mail

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