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RWA Swaziland: The effects of colonialism on land rights post-independence

by Zakithi Sibandze

Many Swazis have experienced evictions and in some areas there are looming evictions due to the fact that they were left by their masters on farm land hence they have then become farm dwellers. The country have become a hot spot for rendering families homeless as the authorities do not follow the law in terms of eviction, they evict people without compensation

It is a shame for a developing country like Swaziland to be experiencing such a crisis in terms of development because the Ministry of natural resources always ensures there are no development activities happening on an area which is a farm. This then clashes with the country’s development strategy which speaks to the distance that needs to be traveled by students to school, it also talks about access to health services among other development activities. 

Over 70 Swaziland Rural Women’s Assembly (SRWA) members in the Shiselweni region since 80s they have been said to be living in a farm which had limited them to fully develop their home and the community at large. Corporate powers like the forestry industry had started buying the land and these have made SRWA members live in fear in their forefathers land which is said to be independent. SRWA continues advocating for farm dwellers rights as it is in her experience that women become the most affected during these evictions where they lose their produce, the connection with the ancestral land is lost and children stop attending school and are rendered homeless. 

The SRWA women group in Shiselweni is engaging local traditional leaders to pursue the matter and bring back the land to the people. 

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