No signal from mamma

No signal from mamma

TRUE story, this one. A British tourist visits Katse Dam for some fresh air. There, a smiling Mosotho offers him a tour of the dam on his canoe for a few pennies. But before the tour begins the white man starts pelting the Mosotho with questions. Do you know England? Do you know Barrack Obama? Do you know Theresa May? Confused, the Mosotho man stares at his guest as he searches for the right answer.

“My Mr, you are asking too many questions I know nothing about. I am just a canoe man,” he eventually said.

“So what is it that you know if you don’t know such simple things,” the white man says as he jump into canoe. The Mosotho man ignores the question as he paddles the canoe towards the dam wall. They are about to get to the middle of the dam when a violent storm starts rocking the canoe, blowing away the paddles. The shaken and shaking white man turns to the Mosotho man: “So what are we going to do?”

The Mosotho man starts pelting the white man with questions: “Do you know swimmiology? Do you know crocodiology? Ever heard of drowniology?”
“What the hell are you talking about? I know nothing about those things,” says the petrified white man.

“Well, Mr, I don’t know how I can save your English life if you don’t know such simple things. Goodbye!” the Mosotho man says as he start swimming away, leaving the white man in the sinking canoe.

Minutes later the Mosotho man is standing on the bank, bellowing at the drowning Englishman. “Mr, maybe you can call your Englands, Barracks and Mays to help you.” Now, that’s a Mosotho for you: he will pretend to be dull until he has an advantage over you and he strikes when you least expect. He will never give you a mamma’s signal. U mo khoaelletse koantsanyane.

We are witnessing the same character in the battle between the government and the four lawyers. A cat and mouse game is unfolding right before our eyes. So far it would seem the government is right where the lawyers want it to be. After weeks of threatening and fuming the government has finally lifted the axe over the chief justice’s elegant neck. That did not come as a surprise to many.

The four lawyers knew that at some point the government was going to show its hand. Make no mistake: the lawyers wanted the government to write that letter to the chief justice so they can load their guns. Muckraker is not a fortune teller but she can tell you the drama in the judiciary is just starting. The four lawyers have been conserving their cows in this morabaraba game and they are just about to unleash them. There will be dozens other court applications before the battle is won. Meanwhile, the sister who heads the High Court will be hanging around at the Palace of Justice while the government seethes with anger.

Accusations will fly back and forth. Each camp will accuse the other of trying to capture the judiciary. You don’t have to have gone to school for long to know that it might be years before Justice Mosito finally sits in the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal itself will not have judges in the foreseeable future, meaning it might be two or three years before the piling cases are finally heard. You will be naive to think this battle is about who is right and who is wrong. It matters not who has the most compelling argument.

This is a war of attrition that only the last man standing will win. We the people are going to be spectators to this spectacle for a very long time. Muckraker has had it to the back teeth with Lesotho’s beggar mentality. Just last week we were told that China had donated bags of rice to Lesotho. We have been receiving rice from China almost every year since 2016. Along the way we also got some rice from India too. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting help from other people. It’s just that Lesotho is making this begging business a habit. Of course the politicians will tell us that they did not ask for any food from China. Don’t believe those lies.

Muckraker happens to know that Lesotho politicians are always brandishing a begging bowl every time they meet envoys from other countries. They make it known that Lesotho is a wretchedly poor country in desperate need of any help. A few months ago China donated a printer, cartridges and printing paper to the Ministry of Public Service. No prophet or sangoma told the Chinese ambassador that the ministry wanted those things. Someone somewhere whispered to him and he sprang into action. Quickly we are confirming that we are a country with no sense of pride.

Soon we will be receiving second-hand panties from China. That could have happened long back were it not for the simple reason that Chinese and Basotho are built differently. The Chinese are not gifted with much flesh on the backside. We could be receiving second-hand shirts if their long sleeves were not going to look like short sleeves on us. We cannot take their second-hand trousers because they will look like tights on us. The Chinese must be getting irritated by our constant nagging for help. It is astounding that a country of more than a billion people is donating food to a country of two million.

Each donation is confirmation that we are incapable of feeding our own people. It is further evidence of how we have failed to provide basics for our people. Sadly our politicians are too daft to see the irony here. They will proudly show their faces at every handover ceremony. They will sit at the high table and give speeches to thank the benefactors. They have no shame that another country is giving their people food. Their speeches are always predictable. They start with a long tale about the strong relations between China and Lesotho before they wax lyrical about the role China has played in Lesotho.

Predictably there is never mention of what Lesotho has done for China because it has done absolutely nothing. At one such donation a politician went for the scriptures. “Blessed is the hand that giveth,” he said. Standing in the crowd, Muckraker wanted to scream back: “Yeh, right! And cursed is the hand always receiving.”

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