Hope, fines and thievery

Hope, fines and thievery

EITHER we are just a forgetful lot or we just choose to ignore the obvious. Our politicians have once again left us high and dry. For weeks they dangled the promise of a political solution and we believed them with naivety of a village bumpkin who has just come to the city.

Like toddlers in a candy shop we jumped for joy, our hearts racing with anticipation. As ridiculous as it may sound our politicians actually needed to cross a border to find a place to discuss a local problem with local colleagues. Mooderpoort!Holy dung!

Give it to our politicians for their creepy talent to conjure up devious ways just to breathe foreign air. For six hours they sat in that farming town, surrounded by people whose forefathers made it their life-long vocation to wipe Lesotho off the face of the earth. Ping-Pong is a game they played on national matters. And when done they told us they were still talking about talks. In Maseru we were glued to our Hire-purchase TVs hoping for some breaking news about the talks. By night we were informed only of the talks taking place in foreign land.

Details of what really happened came from the grapevine and some sound bites from those privileged enough to have been part of six-hour time wasting jamboree.

Still we hoped this was the beginning of something miraculously. The mere fact that they had met was therapeutic enough. Weeks later they met again. Then last week they reached the inevitable conclusion: nada!Boom, the talks had ended in spectacular disaster. The hours of chitchatting had come to nix. Work done equals zero. In the streets we cursed, huffed and puffed.  We forgot this was neither a first northe last.

 

Boloney is our staple food. Politicians are its farmers.It is what they will incessantly feed us until we muster the courage to give them the rope and show them the tree so they can transfer their indolent selves yonder to meet their maker. That is if they will have the credentials to be within his vicinity because given the way they have off-loaded misery on us they are candidates for the furnace where they will have a good time with horned one. In the next few weeks they will jostle for a chance to sell us tomfoolery.

They will scramble to disperse blame. The opposition threw spanners into the works, we will be told. The government stuffed its ears and made it impossible to win the argument, they will say. We have heard such bunkum before.

Even as the so-called talks started it was clear they would not amount to much. There was a stupendous display of insolence from both sides. They were talking so they are not accused of refusing to talk. Their agenda was never to solve the problem.

TKK should go, said the opposition. TKK is going nowhere, said the government.

TKK was the deal breaker, they said after the meeting last week.

You can be sure with a little bit of prodding the same charade will start all over again, with the finger-pointing, the screams and the pomposity. Still there will be no movement.  The politics of this country stinks to high heaven. Its hollowness crushes the soul. It makes the head the spin and the heart bleed.

Amid the suffocating stench our politicians load their pockets and march on, leaving us to hold our noses. But we never learn for soon they will be come back deodorized and ready to ask for another chance to help them keep their perks. We, being Basotho, will oblige as we always do. Then a few months down the line we start mopping as if there was a gun to our heads when we voted. Phew!

Still on our politicians, Muckraker is peeved by the recklessness that went into the signing of the Phase 11 of the Lesotho Highland Water Project. Sometimes she just wonders who our politicians were working for when they signed that scandal of an agreement.

But that is not the saddest part of the agreement. What riles Muckraker is that the 1986 Treaty, the founding document of the project, is must better than the agreement signed more than two decade later. You see, the treaty was between Lesotho and the apartheid regime in South Africa. We hated their guts and they wished Lesotho would just expire. Yet even with that animosity the two came up with a decent treaty, never mind its omissions.  It said South Africa will get water while Lesotho gets electricity. Now the apartheid regime has kicked the bucket and we are negotiating with our fellow black brothers who are in charge in South Africa. Yet they want to screw us over. Oopps, did I say they want to screw us over? I lie. They have already screwed us. We have signed an agreement bereft of the power generation component. How this happened only the sangomas, ancestors and our politicians will know. Easy to see is that South Africa is hell bent on going ahead with the project without hydropower. Shocking is that there are some people, in the government and out of it, who think it’s no big deal.  Without the power component Lesotho is just a water reserviour for South Africa. We will be a water tank around which some lesser human beings people leave.

With Mohale and Katse dam we could pretend they were a commercial arrangement made by people hated each other. Someone was bound to be mugged somewhere.

On Polihali Dam, whose agreement was signed by equals of the same colour, such naked thievery cannot go unexposed. To shut up will be to connive with Zuma and his government. To look the other way is tantamount to dancing pantsula while your house is being emptied.

Muckraker suspects whoever signed the agreement fell for the same of tricks South Africa has been using for years on the water issue. First, they oversell the economic benefits of Lesotho building the dams. Then when that doesn’t do the magic they use idle threats that if Lesotho doesn’t sign the agreement fast they will look for options. That, of course, works on naïve politicians.

Both arguments are just hot air. The economic benefit of Lesotho building the dams is much more for South Africa. They need the dams more than we do. Without our water they will run their factories on saliva.

The notion of South Africa having an alternative source of water is just a scaremongering tactic. It’s a dead snake. If there was an option they would have taken it forty years ago.

 

One of Muckraker’s pastimes is to read documents written by people who think are important. This week she stumbled upon one written by the Broadcasting Dispute Resolution Panel (BDRP) which recommended a M10 000 against Harvest FM for offending Lieutenant Colonel Tefo Hashatsi in January.

Muckraker would like to applaud the panel for exercising restraint in its recommendations. For having cool heads, the panel deserves some Kudos.

Her problem is with the convoluted way one of the recommendations was written. “Steps must be taken by Harvest FM to enforce and protect opinions from dissenting voices along the lines of Thomas Jefferson Quote in an effort to promote non-partisan content,” said the BDPR.

Read that sentence again to see if you can get even a quarter of what is being communicated. If you can understand even a bit of what the writer is saying you either a genius or a sorcerer.

Which opinions should Harvest FM protect and enforce? And how does their enforcement and protection from “dissenting voices” “promote non-partisan content” work? How do you enforce an opinion? Mmmmmmmm. Someone get me a hankie. The writer must be fined for failing to communicate.

Previous Marumo bares all
Next 5000 Workers sent home

About author

You might also like

Muckracker

Mochoboroane’s silly errand

SPARE a thought for Selibe Mochoboroane and his colleagues at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). They are well-meaning men and women who think their daily routine of haranguing witnesses and

Muckracker

Madness on a lorry

BACK in the days in Mafube Muckraker used to wonder why students become unruly as soon as they entered a bus. They would sing, shout profanities and stomp their feet.

Muckracker

Minister of nothing

SIZE TWO has never been known for being sly. What you see is what you get: A riddle here and a timid move there. Some sparks of oratory prowess and