Contextualising the SADC Tribunal and the land issue in Zimbabwe - A socio legal perspective - Lloyd Msipa


The land redistribution exercise in Zimbabwe has introduced a new dimension in the interpretation of international law, treaty law and general legal norms under domestic law. What has been controversial has been the interpretation by the different schools of thought as they seek to address, explain the new situations that now arise as different international institutions seek to do justice to the land question in Zimbabwe brought about by past colonial injustices.

The authorities in Zimbabwe following the fallout with their former coloniser, Britain over the methods for land acquisition agreed to at the Lancaster House Constitution in 1980 embarked on a land acquisition exercise designed primarily to empower the indigenous black Zimbabwean. Past colonial legacies and injustices had dispossessed a majority of some 12 million black Zimbabweans of their land and proceeded to relocate them in arid sandy small holdings commonly referred to as Tribal Trust Lands.

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