Mbabane: Unless the land tenure system is reformed.
Approximately 63 percent of emaSwati who live in Swazi Nation Land (SNL) are still without entitlement and their claims to land ownership are not guaranteed.
The unfortunate events leading to the death of at least two people who were allegedly shot by former Member of Parliament NtuthukoDlamini show how divisive the land tenure system has become including leading to conflicts and loss of life.
Land issues have continued to be a challenge with some chiefdoms and families in disputes over boundaries.
As the population grows, more emaSwati need access to land to build homes, grow crops and for grazing, among other things, which in turn, exacerbates pressure on more land availability.
This therefore calls for systematic approach to addressing land rights in the Kingdom of Eswatini including tackling imbalances of gender equity in land allocation, lack of promotion of land ownership which can be used as collateral for loans and legalising settlements on officially defined boundaries.
We are cognisant that a draft land policy was prepared prior to the enactment of the Constitution. The draft policy was put in abeyance pending the enactment of the Constitution. It is worrying that after so many years of the Constitutional dispensation the land policy is not yet in place. The landpolicy will introduce an effective, efficient and comprehensive administration and dispute management of land in the country.
The country on Monday celebrated its independencemarking 52 years ending the since the colonial rule. Regrettably, some of this legacy, especiallyon land tenure system continues to challenge emaSwati.
We call upon Government to address the land policy issue with the urgency it deserves.