Blows, fools and rascals

Blows, fools and rascals

MUCKRAKER has never been one to shy away from a good fist fight. There is nothing wrong with behaving like a thug once in a while.

That lesson was drummed into her in Mafube just as she had learned to wear her tattered undies without leaning against a wall. There were brutish boys and girls who could kick you for even walking near their house or looking at their cow.

You know the rascals who behave like they were born when the village midwife was at a shebeen. Those mini-tyrants who take pleasure in seeing you writhe in pain after unleashing a thunderous blow on your head for no justifiable reason.

The little scoundrels who would giggle as you scream back to your mother’s house with a blooded nose of their making. After being spanked several times and failing to persuade her mother of the wisdom of intervening, Muckraker decided to toughen up. And so she fought like a warrior.

Bones were broken, eyes gouged out and ears wringed. Suddenly Muckraker, the punching bag of village bullies, was feared. Not because she possessed any particular Kung-Fu skills.

No. It’s just that word spread fast in the village that she could punch above her weight when necessity demands so. That is how you deal with bullies, you fight back. And because bullies are usually motormouths you can be sure the ones you injure will tell others pronto. And soon enough, you will enjoy some peace.


Muckraker was reminded of those Mafube days when she heard of a thoroughly entertaining boxing match over the weekend. She was not there but reliable sources say Democratic Congress (DC) youths kicked and scratched each other like they were high on something illegal.

Some of them do smoke herbs for a living but thou shalt not judge them for they need to feed their idle minds. So when she heard of the fight Muckraker said: Ah, those little rascals have been smoking again.

What triggered the fight was the factionalism we have always known has laid eggs in the ruling party. Even baboons know the DC is infested with power-hungry people who have now set the party on the path to ruin.

The factionalism the leadership has strenuously hidden like an unwanted pregnancy is now playing itself out in the party’s kindergarten league. DC kids have turned on each other to appease their respective masters.

Over the weekend some of them were clobbered for wearing T-shirts with the wrong faces on them. It’s all hilarious when you put serious thought to it. One group was wearing T-shirts with Size Two on it and another was wearing one with Size Two and the Bearded One.

So war was declared, harsh words exchanged and blows traded.

Phew! Meanwhile Size Two and the Bearded One were probably enjoying a game of morabaraba somewhere. Let the free boxing matches begin.


That is the nature of African politics: zealots clobber each other over things they don’t understand. But before you ululate over the factional skirmishes in the ruling party you must not forget there is nothing new here, at both party and national levels.

The DC’s mistake is that it has failed to keep a lid on the fights. The backbiting, nocturnal meetings and scheming have now turned into fist fights. There are wars festering in every party in this country. It’s not the politics but just the nature of us as a people.

We have factionalism in our churches, families and burial societies. When three Basotho gather you can guarantee there will be factions.

Muckraker has been to weddings where the factionalism in families is as clear as the groom’s gown. You see it in the seating arrangements, the interaction of people and the plastic smiles flashed all over the place to mask palpable contempt.

You see it at funerals where people whisper nasty things about uncles, aunts, cousins and nephews.


Still Muckraker has a problem with those who assume that factionalism is a bad thing. Journalists, especially those excitable nincompoops they call political reporters, write about it as if it’s some evil deed punishable by eternal fire. Politicians scream their heads off, never mind that they play the game with verve.

The truth though is that factionalism is a manifestation of democracy, a concept we hold so dear to our hearts but understand zilch about. Every party must have factionalism.

Rivalry is the essence of politics.  Only a party of brainless zombies does not have factionalism. People are allowed to coalesce on an idea or around a person.

If that meeting of minds constitute a formation of a faction within the party then so be it.  Only politicians who have been beaten at the factionalism game hate factionalism. That’s what happens with losers.

They cry wolf when they have been beaten at a game they thought they had mastered. There are enemies in every organisation. And that is fantastic.

Yeh, I said. Every human being must have an enemy. If you don’t have one you must go out of your way to make one before the sun goes down. Say something horrid or spread a rotten rumour if that is what will help you get an enemy.  Enemies make victories sweet.

Frankly, Muckraker cannot imagine a life without enemies. Anyone who tells you life is fun without some form of rivalry is uttering a blue lie and has to be considered any enemy.

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows,” says the big book in Psalms.

In whose presence will a table be prepared for you if you don’t have enemies?

Phew. Muckraker will tell you today that she has a stadium-full of enemies but she is still not satisfied. She still wants more.


Speaking of enemies, Muckraker is about to lose patience with Lehlohonolo Scott, the public enemy number 1. She is not saying that to mean the boy is guilty. He will have his day in court. Good luck to him.

But at some point someone should tell him and his lawyer to sort out their mess pronto. One day he has a lawyer and the next he doesn’t. Next, his lawyer is moping about payments as if he doesn’t know the government pays when it wants.

The other time he said he had quit. Muckraker just laughed because the man didn’t sound genuine at all. It later turned out he was just joking.

No one laughed though. Scott himself has said he only wants this particular lawyer to represent him. That sounds fair until you remember the man is not paying from his pocket. The government is paying which means the people are paying.

We now have a toxic combination of a confused lawyer and a grumbling client. Muckraker hopes this is not just some game to game the system.

This Scott nonsense should just come to an end. At some point the judges should tell the two to go and hang or to hell, which ever takes their fancy.


Last week a reader wrote to ask what Muckraker thinks about local football and why she has never had a go at our national team. The answer is simple.

We don’t have football in this country. It therefore follows that there is no national football team. It has never been there. What we have in Lesotho, and most of Africa, is something that looks like football. It looks and smells like football but it’s not.

To say it is terrible football will be a compliment. Football, like singing, has been undermined because everyone thinks they can do it. So we have pathetic players calling themselves footballers because they can kick a ball across Mohokare River.

They think two legs are all you need to be called a footballer. And before I forget, South Africa doesn’t have football as well. Their only solace is that theirs is a poor imitation of football. Ours cannot even be called fong-kong football.




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