Tributes have been paid to Zimbabwean lawyer and human rights advocate Sternford Moyo, who has died at the age of 68. Moyo was the first African president of the International Bar Association, a post he held from 2021 to 2023.

In a message yesterday, the current president, Almudena Arpón de Mendívil Aldama and executive director Dr Mark Ellis said: 'Sternford was a man of great courage and integrity and will be sorely missed by those who knew him.'

Sternford Moyo

Moyo was the first African president of the IBA

Source: IBA

As well as IBA president, council member and management board member, Moyo was a trustee of the IBA-established Southern Africa Litigation Centre; and of the IBA-founded eyeWitness to Atrocities. He had also been a member of the IBA Task Force on Illicit Financial Flows, Poverty and Human Rights.

Beyond the IBA, Moyo was senior partner and chairman of Zimbabwe firm Scanlen & Holderness and had held leadership positions as president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe and president of the Southern African Development Community Lawyers’ Association (SADCLA). 

Arpón de Mendívil and Ellis added: 'Quiet and unassuming, Sternford’s legal prowess was also recognised by the United States Information Services, which selected him to participate in a programme to familiarise young African leaders with the American legal system and its background. An inspirational figure, admired and liked by so many, his departing is a big loss for our IBA and IBA Human Rights Institute families. We sadly pay tribute to the first IBA president of African lineage who only recently celebrated being admitted in 2022 as a Freeman of the City of London in recognition of his devotion to the rule of law.'


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