SADC NGOs abandons Tribunal fight, demands regional court

The SADC Council of NGOs seems to have abandoned its push for the reinstatement of the original SADC Tribunal and instead is calling for the establishment of a Regional Court to be modelled on the one in Hague, Netherlands.

Minister of Foreign Affairs George Chaponda; Leads Malawi delegatio n at SADC summit

Minister of Foreign Affairs George Chaponda; Leads Malawi delegatio n at SADC summit

In 2014, the NGOs issued an open letter to Ministers of Justice   of SADC countries persuading them not to proceed with the revision of the protocol governing the SADC Tribunal in its current state arguing that the decision will shut access to justice for its 277 million citizens.

“Our Leaders refuse to appear before the Court in the Hague but are reluctant to establish a regional justice body to deal with home grown issues. What is wrong with them?” SADC NGO President Lewis Mwape queried.

The SADC Tribunal, which was established under Article 16 of the Treaty of SADC to advance and ensure the rule of law by strengthening the rights of SADC citizens by providing legal redress, was suspended five years ago and will resurrect under a new protocol.

SADC’s decision to fold follows the disbandment of the tribunal at the 32nd SADC Summit in Mozambique in August 2012 and atwo-year review of the protocol on the Tribunal that’s seems to have significantly changed its operations.

SADC adopted the controversial decision following complaints by Zimbabwe over the previous tribunal’s rulings that sought to nullify the revolutionary land reform programme launched by the Government at the turn of the millennium.

During the 34th summit of Heads of states and Government held at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, the NGOs resolved to establisha task team which they said was going to develop counter arguments on the new SADC Tribunal Protocol.

But during the on-going Civil Society Forum being held at the Eva Maria Pastoral Centre in Gaborone, Botswana justified the need for a Regional Court of Justice saying the reinstatement of the SADC Tribunal excluded human rights matters.

“Currently, there is no avenue for recourse for citizens at regional level in the event that they exhaust domestic legal channels in search of justice,” the NGOs said.

They said the Regional Court of Justice will have a similar mandate as a domestic judiciary in which it will not only interpret the constitution but also allow citizens to claim their rights vis-a-vis the state.

  • Collins Mtika is reporting for Nyasa Times at SADC summit in Gaberone, Botswana.
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

13 thoughts on “SADC NGOs abandons Tribunal fight, demands regional court”

  1. Manga says:

    Deal with the SADC tribunal issue without emotions please . ICC is a western agenda court … Why are they only focusing on African leaders ….?

  2. Jang'ala says:

    Then it will b so bad to sheild other leaders who r criminals such as Bashil and Mugabe etc

  3. Bratusha says:

    All those who hate ICC are enemies of justice. Most African leaders are criminals especially the likes of Mugabe and that’s why they hate ICC. I wonder why people seem to love Mugabe, a monster who hates dissent. A man who clings to power ever when his age is evidently very much against it. The fact is, if you want ICC not to chase you then be smart. I love ICC it’s the last hope for the trampled African citizenry.

  4. mzuzu city says:

    Tilichenene, we withdraw membership and not resign membership kkkk panyakhe mukulemba chiyaonglish??( Udf school of gafumenti) kkk

  5. lesta says:

    So that African dictators can freely rule with an iron fist without interruption from the west,

  6. Free Palestine Free Palestine Free Palestine Free Palestine
    If ICC can’t charge Netanyahu/Blair/ and Bush for War crimes against humanity why should we send Bashir over there?
    Its high time we stop dancing white rhythm,we can completely achieve this by forming the (United States of Africa) and let Mugabe be President
    Don’t let this illuminates control the world

  7. yathu says:

    Our own court, our own judges, dealing with our own people. There will be no racial discrimination as in the Hague. You have a yes vote from me as long as you do not start shielding each other.

  8. mtumbuka1 says:

    Zimbabwe is pushing for this just because their old man is likely to face the music once he steps down and that is why he stays put till everyone else in the world dies first. Mutharika, next time send your vice president to such meetings and not these dpp mafias. I think it’s about time we had a vibrant vice president in this country. The last time I checked, chilima was just some guy addicted to playing some stupid mulhako wa alomwe charity golf. Bottom line is that the vice president is equally useless and adds no value whatsoever to this battered country and a complete over haul is probably the only way to get back into decency.

  9. Ulreka says:

    Mugabe is scared of the ICC. He knows he stands accused of genocide. He slaughtered over 20,000 people from Matebeleland in his pursuit of a one party state in Zimbabwe. He was also against the SADC Tribunal becaused it had ruled against his government for not compensating white farmers whose farms he had seized. In Zimbabwe he has warned judges against hearing cases brought against him wherein senior members of his party were dismissed from the party without following party disciplinary procedures, It is Mugabe’s influence which is at play here. What can you expect from a murderous dictator!

  10. Tili Chenene says:

    Kkkkkkk! The best to resign membership from ICC

  11. Observer says:

    Smart move to run away from Netherlands! They will manipulate SADC tribunal hence Justice will not be realised. Leaders will shield each other. Bad idea.

  12. Nabetha says:

    Zikomo tamva

Comments are closed.

More From Nyasatimes