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MBABANE – “Somebody please help us!”

This is a plea made by some University of Eswatini (UNESWA) students who are living off-campus and renting one-room flats close to the institution. The landlord is a former lecturer whom they allege threatened to throw them out once they complained of the living conditions. About 78 students are renting the one-room flats owned by their former lecturer. They are exposed to a filthy environment following their landlord’s failure to provide waste receptacle bins for them. The block of 68 single rooms is situated at Kwaluseni next to the university and students said it was an ideal place for them as it was closer to school.


However, they lamented the conditions they were subjected to by their landlord who had breached their agreement. Speaking on condition of anonymity in fear of being victimised, the students said they were paying E900 per month in rentals for each one-room flat. From the E900 rental fees, the students said the agreement with the landlord was that E50 would be directed towards clearing the yard, while the other goes towards rent and electricity. They said there were a number of challenges they were faced with as the compound sometimes ran out of electricity units.


“Since Saturday, we have been without electricity. We have reported the matter but received no assistance,” lamented the students. At times, the students said the electricity blackout was caused by poor wiring. They claimed that some of the cables were exposed and were very dangerous to them. Further, the students mentioned the issue of dirty toilets which they shared. They said no one was responsible for cleaning the toilets unless they did it themselves. “There are only four toilets provided for us which we are sharing among 78 students renting at the place,” they claimed. When reached for comment, the landlord, who identified himself as Dr Lihawu, said he was digging a pit for the students to dump the waste in.



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