Campaign for a Regional SADC Anti-Corruption Court

To join the campaign contact the following:

Prosper Simbarashe Maguchu on LinkedIn: Spent a few exciting ...Campaign Focal PointDr. Prosper Simbarashe Maguchu
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    Description of the Issue Corruption in the SADC Member States keeps worsening with the latest 2023 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) painting a gloomy picture ahead. Southern Africa is home to several countries perceived as very corrupt in the world.   Of great concern are difficulties faced by some individual SADC member states in prosecuting corruption in their respective countries because of political interference. Law enforcement agents and the judiciary are often bullied and interfered with which makes fighting corruption very difficult.
What is the proposed solution?
The proposal is to set up a court of last resort at a neutral venue agreed to by all the 16 SADC Member States. The court should have jurisdiction over all the 16 SADC Member States and should be able to preside over corruption cases proved to be difficult to resolve at the national levels of member states. In addition, the court should be able to facilitate the recovery of stolen assets.
Why is this solution important?  
The court will be complementary to domestic courts,  being a court of last resort. While there is no shortage of domestic anti-corruption legislation in many countries, enforcement of these laws is severely lacking. The court will fill this gap, acting as a regional mechanism to prosecute the kleptocrats and crimes which domestic courts are unwilling, or unable, to pursue themselves. The principle of state sovereignty is recognized by the regional court. The court will be a  lean, specialized Court, “and its procedures less complex and protracted.” It will have a more narrow jurisdiction, and will only employ judges when required for cases. The court will gain jurisdiction through referrals from its own State Parties, or from a prosecutor acting proprio motu (on one’s initiative). The court will provide a forum to fairly and effectively prosecute and punish kleptocrats and their transnational networks of professional enablers – including lawyers, bankers, accountants, real estate agents, and other service providers. It will thus deter future grand corruption by establishing a credible threat of prosecution where such a threat does not currently exist for almost all kleptocrats and their co-conspirators. The court will help recover, repatriate and/or repossess stolen assets for the benefit of the victims of grand corruption through orders of restitution or disgorgement, and possibly civil suits. The court will require the support of civil society to succeed. The call for this Court should be the result of regional civil society pressure, including voices from the SADC region. With civil society actors, journalists, whistleblowers, and the media so often serving as corruption watchdogs, the Court will rely on them for assistance in prosecuting criminals and cases, especially those that cross borders and span numerous jurisdictions.
What has ACT-SA done?

Based on the organization’s thrust on being evidence-based it has done the following

        2023 CORRUPTION PERCEPTION INDEX (CPI) FOR SADC MEMBER STATES Time to Walk the Talk against Corruption          Download

Responses in support and against the campaign

Calls for Sadc anti-graft court  SADC Secretariat Response to ACT-SA
15 February 20249 May 2019
AN ANTI-CORRUPTION watchdog has called on Southern African Development Community (SADC) member States to up the fight against graft by setting up a regional anti-corruption court. In a petition directed to the Sadc bloc dated February 13, the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) challenged Sadc countries to walk the talk on corruption. Read more.[1]A response from the SADC Secretariat dated 9 May 2019 stated that the prosecution of corruption cases is within the territorial mandates and jurisdiction of the different SADC Member States. As a result, such cases might not be dealt with at the regional level. This decision was premised on the understanding that SADC Member States have anti-corruption legal and policy frameworks as well as institutional arrangements to deal with such cases.


The importance of a Regional SADC Anti-Corruption Court should not be underestimated. ACT-SA calls upon different stakeholders to join the campaign in the following ways:

  1. Organize a meeting or write to your government demanding the same;
  2. Write to the SADC Secretariat demanding the establishment of the Court

[1] Calls for Sadc anti-graft court -Newsday Zimbabwe