• Fungayi Promote Maraire Universiti Utara Malaysia
  • Mohd. Azizuddin bin Mohd Sani, Prof Dr Universiti Utara Malaysia
  • Siti Darwinda Binti Mohamed Pero, Dr Universiti Utara Malaysia



Principal-agent, delegation, decision-making, Southern African Development Community (SADC), Zimbabwe


This paper accounts for Southern African Development Community (SADC) decision-making on Zimbabwe’s land issue from the year 2000 onwards. Guided by the principal-agent model, this paper argues that the delegation and control dynamics emerging from SADC’s principal-agent institutional structure and relationships shaped the regional organisation’s (RO’s) decisions on Zimbabwe’s land issue. This study adopted a qualitative methodology to explore this proposition utilising both primary and secondary sources of data. Primary data were collected through semi-structured key informant interviews and official documents such as SADC communiqués, while secondary data were gathered from published books, journal articles, newspaper articles and other related materials. Thematic analysis was the method used to analyse the data. The findings revealed that the member states (principal) limited the delegation of decision-making uthority to the SADC (agent) and the principal’s firm control of the agent were key factors shaping SADC outcomes on Zimbabwe’s land issue. These principal-agent dynamics enabled member states to control SADC’s decisions on Zimbabwe’s land issue. Conversely, there was also opportunistic agent behaviour that resulted in decisions
that injured the principal’s interests. Such decisions included the Tribunal’s fateful ruling on Zimbabwe’s land reform programme. Overall, this paper contributes to the existing body of knowledge by re-contextualising the principal-agent model in a new setting, which is SADC decision-making on Zimbabwe’s land issue. 

Author Biographies

Mohd. Azizuddin bin Mohd Sani, Prof Dr, Universiti Utara Malaysia

Professor of Political Science and International Relations at School of International Studies (SOIS) Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM).

Siti Darwinda Binti Mohamed Pero, Dr, Universiti Utara Malaysia

Head of  Department International Affairs, School of International Studies (SOIS), Universiti Utara Malaysia.


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1. Dr Ibbo Mandaza: Executive Chairman Southern Africa Political Economy Series (SAPES) Trust (A SADC Think Tank), Harare, Zimbabwe, September 26, 2019, 1100Hrs-1230Hrs
2. Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi: Former Zimbabwe Minister of Foreign Affairs and current ZANU PF Secretary for External Relations, Harare, Zimbabwe, October 18, 2019, 1530Hrs-1700Hrs
3. Ambassador Dr Andrew Hama Mtetwa: Former Permanent Secretary for Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; former Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe to the AU, UNECA, EEC and the ACP; former Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Ethiopia, Japan, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxermbourg; former High Commissioner of Zimbabwe to South Africa, Zambia, Harare, Zimbabwe, October 24, 2019, 1449Hrs-1602Hrs
4. Cde Patrick Antony Chinamasa: ZANU PF Secretary for Finance, former Zimbabwe Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs (July 2000 – September 2013), former Zimbabwe Minister of Finance and former Zimbabwe Attorney General, Harare, Zimbabwe, October 30, 2019, 1530Hrs-1730Hrs
5. His Excellency Ambassador Batiraishe H. Mukunoweshuro: Zimbabwe Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana, former Consular General at the Zimbabwean Embassy in the Republic of South Africa and a member of the Secretariat that transformed SADCC into SADC in 1992, Zimbabwe House, Gaborone, Botswana, November 12, 2019, 1400Hrs-1600Hrs
6. Dr. David Mandiyanike: Senior Lecturer Department of Political and Adminstrative Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana, November 14, 2019, 1030Hrs-1200Hrs
7. Dr Mopeli Moshoeshoe: Senior Lecturer Department of International Relations, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, November 20, 2019, 1200Hrs-1330Hrs
8. Dr Christopher Williams: Senior Lecturer Department of International Relations, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, November 21, 2019, 1022Hrs- 1130Hrs

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