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DISPUTE THREATENS E7.5M WATER PROJECT

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MBABANE – While the country works towards fulfilling its goal of having clean water for all in the next few years, the Indvuna of Ehini has threatened to stop a project worth E7.5 million in Ezulwini.


Access to clean water and sanitation is Goal six of the Sustainable Development Goals initiated by the United Nations. This goal was initiated to ensure that all people have access to clean water and sanitation within a few years.
The project in question is funded by the Regional Development Fund (RDF) and is carried out by a water scheme known as Buhle Belizulu.


The project covers about six zones and it stands to benefit 1 716 homesteads. However, a man who identified himself as Indvuna of Ehini, Jabulani Dvuba, claimed that the proposed project had been allocated a piece of land belonging to his area.


Land


According to Dvuba, Ehini residents pay allegiance to Mpolonjeni. He said the piece of land, where the peoject had been allocated, had nothing to do with Ezulwini Royal Kraal.
As a result, he stated that Ezulwini Royal Kraal should have sought consent from Ehini before allocating the piece of land for the project.
“Ehini is an area with its own indvuna appointed by the King. The King also appointed indvuna for Ezulwini Royal Kraal. An indvuna cannot leave his royal kraal to do as he pleases in another royal kraal,” he said.


“Uma kungatsiwa kuhlatjwa lisoyi lapho kutawucala khona lomsebenti, litawuhlatjwa ngubani? Indvuna yalomunye ummango yake yalihlaba yini lisoyi kulomunye ummango? Akutange sekwenteke loko futsi angeke kwenteke lapha,” he added in vernacular, meaning: “Who will bless the start of the project? Can an indvuna from another royal kraal bless the start of a project in another area? This cannot happen and it will never happen here.”
Dvuba stated that the residents of Ehini raised their concern about the machinery which was seen clearing the land in preparation for the project without their consent.


He said the residents wanted to know how the project came about without their knowledge.
“One may claim that I know the project. I do not dispute that I was approached by members of the water committee, but I referred them to the residents. The residents were never consulted and involved during the course of the preparations of the project which has now come to finality,” he said. Dvuba said the finalisation of the project without the involvement of the people of the area had left them with the impression that it (project) was private.
He claimed that what raised more suspicions was the exclusion of the current bucopho, indvuna yenkhundla and the Member of Parliament from the project.


He claimed that none of the trio knew about the project yet they were the ones who should bring development in the area. He boasted that residents of the area had an upper hand in voting for MP, bucopho and indvuna yenkhundla. He stated that Ehini held weekly meetings, so the residents would have been informed if there was a project that menat to benefit them.


He mentioned that the inkhundla received many votes from  Ehini. “They cannot mess with Ehini if they want to go back to Parliament,” he said.
He added that the elder of the Dvuba family had summoned the inkhundla team concerning the proposed project. 


Dvuba stated that the water committee had since promised to include the residents of the area in the project; however, he said it was too late.


Respect


“We are not against the project, but we want Ezulwini Royal Kraal to consider our existence and respect us in our piece of land. We also have projects such as a dip tank that can fit in the piece of land which they allocated for the water project,” he said.
Dvuba also declared that the residents of Ehini had plenty of water.
He asked if Ezulwini Royal Kraal had considered the danger that might come with the construction of the water tank next to some homesteads in the area.


“Take a tour and see what is likely to happen if it might rain for 24 hours. Some of the houses maybe destroyed. The water tank is likely to cause havoc should it burst. We would have discussed all these things had Ezulwini Royal Kraal engaged us,” he explained.
Dvuba added that there was an ongoing assessment conducted by the Eswatini Electricity Company (EEC) next to the land allocated for the water tanks.

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