A State House of nurses

A State House of nurses

FORGET everything you know about the art of politics. The biggest lesson from the political crisis gripping Lesotho is that nursing is an overrated profession.
You heard that right: from all skirmishes, schemes, shrieks and dramas, all you have to learn is that anyone can be a nurse.
Thanks to Samonyane Ntsekele’s antics over the past two weeks, we now know that a minister can be nurse. Look how he has been caring for Uncle Tom since the Feselady slithered across Mohokare River when the police moved to throw her and her rampant mouth in remand for Lipolelo Thabane’s murder.
In just two weeks Ntsekele relegated himself to being Uncle Tom’s certified nurse.

He has not left Uncle Tom’s side since the Feselady vamoosed. He is probably watching over Uncle Tom as he snores. He is glued to the old man.
He holds his hand to press conferences, helps him flip the pages of speeches and reminds him of the most basic facts about the party.
After the press conferences he leads Uncle Tom to the car, takes him home and probably sees to it that he remembers to put something in his tummy.
Indeed, he is now the nurse-in-charge at the State House.

Without ever setting foot in a lecture room at the National Health Training Centre or the Roma School of Nursing, Ntsekele has become a model nurse.
Muckraker will leave the question of where else he accompanies Uncle Tom open to speculation and imagination. That you cannot connect such large dots is your problem.
Blame it on your ancestors if you are desperate for scapegoats.

Yet it will be unduly malicious to think Ntsekele is the only nurse around Uncle Tom. There is a battalion tending to Uncle Tom.
It’s just that they lack the opportunity to parade their nursing skills in the public’s glare.
Make no mistake about it: the State House’s corridors are teeming with male nurses.
Others are fetching him water while others massage his feet.

Some are rubbing his back while others feed him. They do all this while whispering some devilish things to him.
“Ntate, fire the police commissioner.”
“Please, don’t leave office before I get that tender”.
“Ntate, Mahao is not to be trusted.”
“Look, what the police are doing to your wife.”
Others will be telling him blatant lies.

“Ntate, you might be 82 but you are still as agile as an 18-year-old”.
“You are as fit as a mule.”
“Age is just a number Ntate.”
“Do not be troubled boss. The people still love you”.

“The economy is roaring”.
“You have defeated hunger, boss”.
This deception is not meant to help Uncle Tom but them to stay a little longer at the feeding trough. They cannot bear the thought of being yanked from the high table.
Some are dead scared of being prosecuted for their chicaneries and crimes. Without Uncle Tom they are toast.

All this explains why Uncle Tom has had two press conferences to announce what we have always known.
Last Friday he kept the nation on tenterhooks as he slowly read a speech many anticipated would end with a specific date for his departure.
Instead, Uncle Tom rumbled on about his intention to retire. The people have always known that he is going to retire. They knew it the day he joined politics decades ago.
What they want to hear was when he will say adios. He kept that crucial information in his heart, leaving people to grope and speculate for answers.

And that’s what people pretty much did throughout the weekend. Then on Monday there were murmurs that Uncle Tom had fresh news.
The naïve were excited. The smart were dubious. Zealots checked into Mohlomi. Bootlickers were shivering. And the Chinese state capturers were calling politicians they had long neglected.
Political prostitutes were selling themselves at embarrassingly low prices. Lesotho had never seen such political whoring.
The press statement however turned out to be a repeat of the first one. A damp squib. A numbingly boring and repetitive affair.
Once again, Uncle Tom delivered a Ha re e Thaba Tseka full of “intentions”. No date or timeline for his exit. Work done in the two press conference equals zero.

And so the nurses at the State House remain firmly in charge, barking orders to those outside and whispering more drivel into Uncle Tom’s ears.
They think their strategy of buying time by keeping the Uncle from saying his goodbyes will help them. The naivety is staggering.
Those pushing this strategy are novices who mistake style for substance.

In a way they are using the same old politricks that have brought them to this dead end. Why they think it will work this time is a myth yet to be unravelled.
In the meantime we can put it down to their arrogance and incompetence.
Lack of foresight is the bane of many politicians, especially those who think they can solve tomorrow’s problems with today’s solutions.
The nurses at the State House have always banked on Uncle Tom remaining the shrewd politician who can outwit his opponents. That ended last February when a camp in his own party defanged him. They thought he would cheat the biological clock and remain nimble. The clock has won, as it always does.
The nurses believed the Feselady would miraculously transform significant player in whose warmth they would continue to bask. They forgot that she too was a thief of thunder. A beneficiary of borrowed power.

She is now a fugitive, playing hide and seek with the police.
Then there was their delusional idea that the judiciary was in their pocket because they had appointed one or two judges. Well, one has been a pain in their collective bums (read that as Justice Mosito).

The other has been found to be so brazenly compromised that she cannot even pretend to have any shred of credibility left to her name (read that as a reference to that sister who is notorious for being emotional and incompetent).
If integrity was a currency she would be in serious debt or holding Zimdollars.
They thought the police bosses will cover their naked behinds but they have since turned on them and are refusing to do their bidding. Commissioner Holomo Molibeli has stripped them naked and is whistling while they cover their faces instead of their privates.

The sum total of all this is that we are dealing with a bunch of greenhorns who have long exaggerated their political dexterity. The tenderfoots have now been found.
Their godmother is scampering across the veld, their godfather humbled by nature and their strategy full of holes. Their tomorrow looks bleak.
But don’t think they will give up without a fight. For as long as Uncle Tom has a voice they will make him say what they want. As long as he has eyes they will make him read what they want. All to delay the inevitable.

In all this we must not forget that Uncle Tom has been hoist by his own petard. The nurses at the State House are his people. He brought them into his courtyard.
It’s true that most of the nurses were brought in by the Feselady but they remain his relatives because your wife’s relatives are your relatives too.
A tree branch comes with its twigs and leaves.

There was nothing wrong with Uncle Tom taking them all in. His mistake was to listen to them. If you are in trouble ask your ears and your mouth. Uncle Tom should ask his ears and the Feselady should ask her mouth.
The misfortune is that they are one according to the rules of matrimony. Whose ear or mouth got who into this mess is a debate for two drunks staggering home after imbibing gallons of free hopose in Thamae.
It ends when one of them asks for directions to his house.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!


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