Beloved dotcoms and big beard

Beloved dotcoms and big beard

HOORAY! Jeremane Ramathebane, leader of the Basotho Batho Democratic Party (BBDP), a silly excuse of a party, has finally found his voice in the Senate.

Perhaps tired of snoring during Senate sessions, Ramathebane decided it was time to say a few words. What had irked him was the Audit Bill 2016 which he said was side-lining “uneducated” party supporters.

He wanted illiterate party supporters to be considered for the Auditor General’s position.

“It is unfair for party loyalists to be side-lined in favour of the educated ones when the time to hire people comes,” he said.

“I would give this job of Auditor General to the ones who follow the party and not the educated ones”.

Those words should have shocked even the mouth that uttered them.

But this is Ramathebane’s mouth were are talking about and nothing shocks it because it is well covered by a big beard.

Ramathebane should think about hiring a barber for his beard before talking about the appointment of an Auditor General.

The man should just cut that beard before it drives him nuts.

And it doesn’t matter what he will use to cut it because the idea is to just trim it down before it contaminates his brain. He might as well use a knife.

And since he has no respect for qualifications Muckraker would like to suggest a welder to sort out his beard.

Or better still, he can hire one of his 10 party supporters to remind him to cut his beard. That is the real ‘Auditor General’ he needs.


My oh my! Trade Minister Joshua Setipa sure knows how to sabotage a roaring party. After a year of keeping his mouth firmly shut Setipa has created a firestorm out of nothing.

We now know that while his mouth was zipped Setipa’s mind was cooking up a nasty plan to take us back to the time of horses, bicycles and scotch carts.

He wants to ban Basotho from importing second-hand (third-hand, fourth hand, etc) cars from Asia. His beef with hand-me-down cars from Basotho’s favourite market is that they are just ramshackle of jalopies causingcarnages on our roads.

His understanding, as he explained at a press conference last week, is that the cars are not roadworthy. Asian countries are picking “expired” vehicles from their dumpsites and flogging them to us at ridiculous prices like US$900, he opined.

The vehicles are killing Basotho, he ventured on with the same confidence Size Two had during the 2012 election before the people forced a humble pie down his throat.

Before chipping away at Josh’s already limping idea Muckraker would like to declare that she is an interested party in this business of fifth–hand sekorokoros.

Were it now for the first ricketycar some Japanese fellow threw her way for a sorry price of US$300 Muckraker would have been pounding the streets of Maseru aboard a MokhorothloF-O-O-T.

You need a mixture of desperation and sheer strength to withstand a seven-hour ride on a chicken bus to Mafube.

So anyone who interferes with her access to another dotcom hand-me-down should be spanked. There can be no doubt Muckraker is not alone on this one.

As she writes this there are people cursing the very ground on which Josh walks. And that suits him right. The man isup to some monkeyshines.


He is up to some elitist high-jinks. Muckraker knows that being a seasoned diplomat,Setipa will try to use technicalities to explain himself out of trouble when people start pelting him with insults.

He will say he is not banning dot-coms altogether but wants those that find their way to the Kingdom to be roadworthy. This is not an entirely mischievous argument if you dissect it slowly.

He is saying all cars imported must be certified fit for our roads. No qualms with that. In fact that is a smart idea.

The problem however starts when you unpack the reasoning behind his policy decision. He says the imported vehicles are causing accidents. And this is where Muckraker says: Hold your horses right there, Josh!

It’s an appalling argument based on speculation. Its sounds more like bar talk than anything. There is scant evidence to support the assertion that dotcom vehicles are causing accidents.

You cannot use sucha lame argument to sustain a policy decision that should be based on scientific evidence. Setipa should bring a scientific study to support it. Anything short of that is just tomfoolery.

Even if we assume that most of the accidents involve dotcoms Josh still has to prove that it’s because the cars are in bad state. Methinks dotcoms are involved in most of the accidents because they happen to dominate our roads.That’s inevitable, given that about seven in every ten cars on our roads are dotcoms (I pulled that figure out of nowhere but you get the picture).

Muckraker can afford to thumb-suck explanations because she is not suggesting a policy shift. The same cannot be said for Josh, who is a government minister whose policy suggestions are supposed to be based on facts.

It could be that the dotcoms have allowed every Khotso, Thabo and Tsepo on our road before they understand what the colours on a traffic light means.

Lesotho is the only country where people buy both the driving licence and the car. Some buy cars before they buy the licence.

Setipa should ask his colleagues to deal with the scandal of people buying licences like they are buying a mug of hopose.

His policy suggestion is a classic example of how the government tries a parcel out blame for problems it can solve. The vehicle fitness centre in Ha-Foso, on which the government spent millions, is unleashing limping cars on our roads.

Police officers whose job is to remove sekorokorosfrom  our roadsare busy stuffing their pockets with bribes.


There is another reason for Muckraker’s disgust at Josh’s suggestion. You see, the man is targeting the wrong things.

The real problem that needs his urgent attention is right under his nose. Josh is battling to get his PS Majakhatata Mokoena to toe the line.So far Majakhatata has refused to say: “Yes Sir”.

That’s because Majakhatata has covered his behind with a cardboard box. So every time Josh unleashes his sjambok Majakatata is laughing his head off, wondering why Boss Josh is wasting his time.

Josh’s head is now spinning as he scrambles around for new ways to sort out the slipperyMajakhatatawho is not afraid to snare when cornered.

When he fired him from the LNDC board Majakhatata laughed so hard that rats in Thaba-Tseka were startled.

He just told Josh that he was out of order and should behave himself. Not in those words but something closer to that.

Instead of mopping Majakhatata simply declared that he is still in charge, leaving Josh flabbergasted. Josh cannot speak to Majakhatata like a disappointing Grade 4 student.Majakhatata has an opinion about almost everything.You can ask him how termites mate and he will scratch his head a bit and say: “Eh, fundamentally and holistically speaking termites are …”

He keeps his American accent at hand just in case someone wants to scare him.

Muckraker suspects Josh has been hit by the American accent and has run out of tricks with which to pin down Majakhatata. That explains why he is coming up with such policies.

It could also be the reason why he wants to implement the policy at a hectic pace. He said people had until end of July to sort out their dotcom issues. That is a one-month notice to implement a policy made on the hoof.


It will be unfair for Muckraker to close this Josh-hates-dotcoms chapter without saying a word about some petty bourgeois columnist who thought he could appoint himself a cheerleader for Josh. He was clearly trying to curry favour with Josh, especially after calling him gutter names last year.

Perhaps after realising the idiocy of his ways the columnist wanted to score some points with Josh.

It turns out he chose the wrong argument to support. And he used the wrong logic to support an argument.  He said importing dotcomshas killed innovation in Lesotho. Muckraker can only say: Mmmmmmmmm, the columnist has been smoking funny herbs again.

You see, almost everything in this country is imported, from cabbages to condoms. The argument that banning second-hand vehicles will trigger some creative solutions is as dead as a dodo.

It’s a pedestrian solution to a complex problem. Thank God such dimwits don’t have a say in government policy.










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