News24

Zim won't honour court's ruling

2010-01-27 13:58

Harare - A Zimbabwe high court has rejected a southern African court's ruling that blocked the government's move to resettle blacks on more than 70 white-owned farms, state media said on Wednesday.

"The registration and consequent enforcement of that judgment would be fundamentally contrary to the public policy of this country," the Herald newspaper said, citing a judgment by Justice Bharat Patel.

The Namibia-based tribunal of the Southern African Development Community ruled in 2008 that the white farmers could keep their land because the scheme amounted to racial discrimination.

Zimbabwe's government rejected the ruling, so the farmers turned to a Harare court to try to enforce the judgement.

"In effect, the enforcement of the decision... would ultimately necessitate the government having to reverse all the land acquisitions that have taken place since 2000," Patel said in the 2008 judgement.

Zimbabwe embarked on controversial land reforms in 2000 seizing white-owned farms in what President Robert Mugabe said was a way to correct colonial-era inequities.

But critics blame the often violent land reforms for a dramatic drop in food production in the former regional breadbasket.