State efforts to reform the customary land tenure system of Lesotho have failed to produce intended outcomes. An explanation given for this failure is customary chiefs' opposition to state-sponsored reforms, as these were purportedly meant to curtail their power over land. This explanation initially appeared in 1974 connection with the Administration of Lands Act of 1973, and has since been handed down through generations of academics and policy analysts in Lesotho and outside and uncritically accepted as immutable truth. This paper seeks to demonstrate that this explanation is a fable, superficial and shallow: it fails to explain the failure of the postcolonial land reform project.
Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s):
Resetselemang C. Leduka