Dirty mouths

Dirty mouths

THE mouth is Lesotho’s biggest problem. We just cannot shut up as a country even when it’s clear that we are just waffling about things about which we know zilch.
Every time we open our beaks we spew poison, drivel, lies and rumours.
If only we could learn to count to 10 before we speak this country would be a better place.
Last week we unleashed our mouths again. Nyoe, nyoe, nyoe the agreement between the government and opposition is a horrible deal that lets criminals off the hook.
Nyoe, nyoe, nyoe the deal is tantamount to giving suspects an amnesty.

Nyoe, nyeo, nyoe, nyoe, Uncle Tom’s government has sold out.
The loudmouths were in overdrive on radio stations, pooping claptrap bereft of any dash of original thought.
Muckraker sighed as the yobbos behaved as if they were connected to a dedicated line from Muella Power station. In that instant it was clear that we had entered the familiar territory where brains are heaped in a bin so that they don’t interfere with our rebellious mouths.
And the results of such prattling were all too familiar.

After days of running our mouths we realised that our gobbledygook counts for nothing in the broader scheme of things.
Our barking has never mattered because it doesn’t add any value to either the general discourse or the specific agreements our belligerent politicians cobble up when SADC sits on their flabby necks.

While we were screaming senselessly on radio we missed the import of the agreement.
True there had been concessions and arm-twisting to get the politicians to agree to something.

Yes it might appear that justice has been delayed. Of course suspects have been granted a few more months to perambulate our streets with springs in their steps.
Yet all these don’t matter because the goal has always been to find a way to get on with the reforms that have been bobbing around for months as if we were discussing something patently evil.
Fret not about the suspects because they are already roasting even before they enter the dock.
We should use these few months to show them the sweetness of freedom.

Let them imbibe this freedom until they are intoxicated for they will have enough time to deal with the hangover when behind bars.
For once we will witness how men who are earmarked for jail walk, talk and eat.
We deserve the pleasure of seeing them squirm after the trouble they caused us with their shenanigans. In the meantime we should conserve our voices for the reforms.
The point is to shut up and speak when it really matters. That way you might just utter things that matter.

Engaging your mind into gear before you speak will separate us from riffraff organisations like the Saviours of Lesotho Dams (Sold), an NGO that pretends to speak on behalf of the poor while its managers make hay from their misery.

We have always known that Sold specialises in selling pipedreams to the so-called victims of dams. What we didn’t know is that it has always been on the hunt for relevance.
That much became clear this week when the organisation flew, head first, into the wool and mohair fiasco.

Listening to the national coordinator Lenka Thamae speaking Muckraker wondered if there was something intoxicating in the room. He sounded like someone who has been caught up in the crossfire of some smoke from some ‘A’ grade from Mapoteng. It was clear that he had no idea what he was talking about.
He looked like someone who had been shoved towards a microphone to say things his mind had not yet grasped. The result was a lobbyist who did not know what he was lobbying for. He was at pains to avoid offending the government.

Both sides must approach the issue legally, he said as if he was revealing something outstanding. Many were left wondering if by “legally” he meant lawfully or through the courts.
Either he was uttering something even goats in Mokhotlong already knew. If he meant solving the issue through the courts then that is already being done.
The farmers already have a case against the government and they have an interim order blocking the state from interfering with the export of wool and mohair to South Africa.
Thamae should have asked the government to obey that interim order instead of trying to be politically correct in a dispute pitting the poor farmers against the mighty government.
If by “legally” he meant lawfully then he was wasting his time because the farmers have always played by the rules.

But somewhere down the statement it became clear on whose side Sold is leaning. “Sometimes the government may make policies we are not comfortable with but when the government leads the way in a lawful manner it should be supported,” Thamae said. So there you have it: its fine for the government to make draconian regulations and force poor farmers to obey then without questions

According to Thamae, it is fine for the government to concoct laws that benefit a single foreigner and then whip the farmers to tow the line.
That this is coming from an organisation that claims to stand for the poor is shocking. Racial segregation was once legal in many countries but that didn’t mean it was right.
Just because a law has been passed by parliament does not make it right.

Remember apartheid, colonialism and slavery were all perfectly legal in some countries. It is mischievous to describe the wool and mohair regulations as discomforting.Discomfort is what you feel when lightly pinched. Those regulations are chocking the farmers.

Sold wants to sell us the silly dummy that the regulations were meant to localise the trade in wool and mohair. The only problem, they claim with zest, is that the regulations were done without consultation. This, of course, is a blue lie. The idea of the regulations was not to localise the sector but to benefit Stone Shi. Anyone who does not know this has the brain the size of the full stop at the end of this sentence.

You see, localising a sector is not the same as enhancing the value of a product to get more for it. Just because wool and mohair are sold in Thaba Bosiu does not mean the farmers will get better value. It’s what you do to the wool and mohair before its export that matters. The problem with the Wool Centre in Thaba Bosiu is that it is just a warehouse. The wool is not cleaned or processed in Lesotho. It is sold as raw as it is when sheared.

It is not even properly tested before Stone dispatches it to his comrades in China. Organisations like Sold should therefore shut up if they don’t have anything insightful to say. It is clear that the regulations are a way to legalise a monopoly that is likely to benefit some senior officials.
But you may be asking why Sold has dived into the issue.

Well, Thamae provided that answer. He said the wool and mohair issue affects many people. When did they discover this? It could be when they realised that their noises about the alleged survivors of Lesotho dams are no longer bankable. We know the drill: when the donors are tired of your story you must invent another one. Sold wants to sell the wool and mohair crisis to donors.

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