Confused judges and bootlicking ministers

Confused judges and bootlicking ministers

ONE of the many reasons why this country is in such a mess is its over-reliance on donations.
We are a country notorious for perambulating the globe with a begging bowl in hand.
The result is a country teeming with indolent people who think someone is always going come to their rescue. The government is the leading beggar and is not ashamed of it.
Because we are beggars we never get to decide what we are given. We take that which has been tossed our way. The problem however is that some of the donations are becoming extremely expensive.

You see, donors don’t want to privately give you things. Rather, they want the world to know that they have fed you. That way they portray themselves as benevolent masters and you as a thankful beneficiary.
The receiver is also not allowed to just receive the goodies and shut up. They must advertise their gratitude so that the giver keeps giving. That is why there has to be a special event to celebrate the handover.

What makes the donations expensive is that the minister and his entourage have to be transported to the venue. Government officials too have to leave their desks to attend the useless junkets. Copious amounts of food are consumed in the name of celebrating the donations.
Then there are the tents and chairs for the dignitaries. TV Lesotho, that pitiful excuse of a national broadcaster, will be on hand to beam the “news” to the masses.
The modus operandi is the same even when some embassy is handing over three computers or a couple of benches to a rural school. It happens even when the donor is handing over cartridges to a ministry.

Yet the biggest cost is not the money used for such shindigs.
The real cost is our dignity as a country. It is such a sorry sight watching whole ministers grovelling to ambassadors and country directors. They will wax lyrical about warm relations as if that is anything special in a world that is largely peaceful.
Then they will unleash some depressing statistics about Lesotho’s poverty as if that is some badge of honour to crow about. Our ministers have mastered the art of bootlicking. Spare a thought for their tongues.

One morning they are licking some political bum to keep their job and the next day their tongue is stuck in some ambassador’s nether regions.
Hence Muckraker has always warned women about the dangers of dating politicians: you never know whose bum you are kissing when you kiss their mouth. You could be indirectly licking a Chinese or American behind.

Because we are always in awe of donors we are obliged to listen to the unmitigated tosh coming from their surrogates called NGOs.
Government officials know they have to play ball with the NGOs if they want them to put in a good word to the donors. It doesn’t matter that most of those in NGOs are dimwits who will never be allowed anywhere near a corporate’s gate.

Not that corporates are overflowing with clever people. It’s just that NGOs never produce anything apart from reports and some half-baked ideas they paddle for funding. They think opinion is more important than thought.
For evidence of this look no further than the statement issued by some three organisations condemning Mining Minister Keketso Sello.
The issue was about the Minister’s private secretary, Refiloe Mokone, who was allegedly caught smuggling diamonds in South Africa.
It is not clear why the Transformation Resource Centre (TRC), Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) and the Policy Analysis and Research Institute of Lesotho (PARIL) thought it prudent to wade into the matter.

What matters is that they dived in head first.
Muckraker would have ignored the statement had the organisations restricted themselves to condemning the minister for being incompetent and that he was possibly culpable.
But then the organisations ventured to proffer unsolicited advice on human resource management, a matter obviously far removed from their proficiency.
They might have been right when they called on the Minister to resign.

It is however the organisations’ reason for that recommendation that left Muckraker stunned.
“Even if the Minister is not directly implicated in the smuggling of diamonds by his Private Secretary it is important to note that he is the one who recruited the now suspected diamond smuggler to the Ministry in the first place,” the statement said.

“Such a blunder does not give us comfort that the Minister will not commit similar errors in executing his mandate of being a custodian of resource governance in Lesotho.”
The reasoning here is skewed whether you are in a boardroom, church, bar or crouching in a VIP.
You don’t quit your job because your recruit turned out to be a lying or thieving bastard.

If that was the case this country would not have a commissioner of police because half of his officers have turned out to be rascals taking bribes with gusto.
We can say the same for the Prime Minister who hired corrupt and lazy ministers. Should he go too?
How about the human resource managers in companies and the civil service? Should they resign because they did not have the prophetic powers to predict that they were employing a thief of money?

The world doesn’t work that way and there is nothing to be gained from pretending that it does.
Maybe they could have argued that Minister Sello must resign because diamonds are being illegally traded by officials in his office under his watch. He has thus failed to protect our diamonds.
There is also the perception that the arrested person is too close to the minister which creates the impression that he was probably in on the scandal. That is how the world works.

Those fuming at Justice Mosito’s judgement nullifying the sale of MKM properties are lazy readers. Had they read his judgement to the end they would have seen that Justice Mosito is not the enemy.

It is the evidence that compelled him to reach that decision. The MKM debacle is a result of a highly dubious judgement by Justice Molete.
It is Justice Molete’s legal reasoning that has been torn to shreds. Muckraker cannot say she is overly surprised by Justice Mosito’s precision in roasting Justice Molete.
Many of his judgements in the commercial court have been turned up-side-down in the Court of Appeal.
But never before has the apex court’s judgement been more stinging on him. In other jurisdictions Justice Molete would have been hiding in gutters at the Palace of Justice to avoid further embarrassment.

In a nutshell, Justice Mosito was saying Justice Molete granted an order that was never requested. No one asked him to order that the liquidators can proceed with the sale of MKM properties.
In other words, he took it upon himself to decide on a matter that was not presented before him.
Muckraker is not saying Justice Molete was high on something illegal when he made that decision.

But no judge of sober mind would grant an order that has not been requested. Not even a rookie lawyer would have come up with such a stinker of a judgement.
They don’t even warn you against such excitable behaviour in law school because they assume its common-sense.
The lesson is found in Grade 4: don’t go off topic.

In law school they tell you that litigants should stand or fall on the basis of their court papers. Yet Justice Molete decided it was prudent to manufacture an order in his head and then grant it.
By so doing he pretended that he was serving justice. Justice Mosito’s judgement insinuates that Justice Molete was biased. He couched the accusation in palatable syntax because he was talking about a colleague.

Muckraker is not constrained by such relational tosh so she will tell you with a straight face that Justice Molete’s judgement was not only unfair but also highly mischievous.
Justice Molete’s judgement is the reason the whole bench is a laughing stock. Thanks to his inane judgement, the courts are going to be seized with the MKM chaos for the foreseeable eons.
You can however be sure that even after being clobbered for bias Justice Molete is not going to bow out.

He will stick around while pretending to be a diligent jurist. That’s because he knows that we are a country that bumjives at the sight of mediocrity.
We measure our public officials according to a malfunctioning scale of integrity, competence and diligence. Muckraker hopes the judge sleeps at night. Snooze peacefully Justice! The world is not looking.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

muckraker.post@gmail.com

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