Lop that lullaby

Lop that lullaby

MALICE and banter aside, we are probably the most predictable people on earth. We are unrelenting and unwavering in our march to mediocrity.
For instance, you have a sure chance of winning if you bet that after an election there will be some manufactured brouhaha over the yanking of principal secretaries.

As sure as the sun rises from the east, the former rulers, still smarting from a defeat, will bellow about their people being fired.
To add oomph to their cries they will opine — mischievously so — that paying off principal secretaries will gobble millions from the government’s already perforated pockets.

“Shut up,” the new rulers will retort with the pride of a little Mosotho boy being called ntate by his mother even when he cannot even wipe his own nose (most of our problems with men in this country can be traced back to that disgusting pampering of rascals with lofty titles that should be reserved for proper men).

They will argue that it’s their prerogative to decide who should manage ministries. When the debate persists they will remind the erstwhile rulers that they too did the same when they were in power.  Nothing disarms a person like an abrupt reminder of their hypocrisy. It was therefore not shocking that as soon as Uncle Tom unleashed his Kung-fu kick on principal secretaries, the opposition would stand on Thabana-Ntlenyana and wail uncontrollably.

On hearing that the PS’ were scratching their bums Tseliso Mokhosi, the deputy leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), said this was a sign of how the new government works. The pot-kettle irony horribly lost on him, Mokhosi warned us to brace for more similar tomfoolery from Uncle Tom and his battalion.  That’s just nonsense because we were guided by the contracts, said Joang Molapo in his Machabeng College accent.
Both men, Molapo and Mokhosi, need not have ventured into this mundane subject.

There is nothing shocking about a new administration pushing out principal secretaries. It is a way of life here. Principal Secretaries are dispensable bureaucrats because they are never hired on merit but on the basis of their political inclination.
It is not for nothing that it’s the only government job that is not advertised. There is no qualification for being a principal secretary. That job can hit you in the face as you are walking the streets of Maseru. There is no interview for that job.

So those who find themselves thrust in this position should accept its fat perks together with its notoriously shaky contract.
The job of a principal secretary is as temporary as a fato-fato one. Just as the fato–fato job depends on the whims of a headman the principal secretary’s contract depends on the mood of the Prime Minister or his durability in power.

A principal secretary can be fired for drinking too much coffee or taking too many bathroom breaks. They don’t have to have committed a crime or bungled something to be thrown under a bus.  On appointment a smart principal secretary knows never to unpack his bags. The luggage should be kept behind the door, ready to be loaded into a removal van.

Unfortunately some political neophytes have adamantly refused to accept this reality.
So they take to the radio stations, newspapers and social media as soon as someone is pushed off the cliff. The irritating noise we are hearing from the opposition about the dismissal should therefore be considered a fart soon to be blown away by the winds. Theirs are tears wasted. There are worse things that should bring grief.
Uncle Tom was going to fire the principal secretaries even if their contracts were brought by Moses from Mount Sinai.
It would not have mattered if the contracts were written on iron or scribbled on tissue paper. As soon as the government changed those people should have started packing their things.

The principal secretaries should be thankful that Uncle Tom has sent them on leave of absence. That is a humane way of easing them out and saving government some money. There is no need to prolong their misery. There was no need to postpone the inevitable. The train was coming.
In their naivety some principal secretaries could have argued that they don’t need a leave or they are not due for a rest.
“Ok, I give you sick leave”, Thabane would have said to the male principal secretaries.  “But we are not sick,” they would have said to Uncle Tom.
“In that case you get sick when you are already on leave, now get out of my office,” Thabane would have said, his face filled with disgust at the gullibility of people who don’t know when to vamoose when they are not wanted. To the women Uncle Tom might have given maternity leaves.

“Ah, but we are not pregnant,” the women would have responded. “In that case you will get pregnant during the leave,” Uncle Tom would have said.
Some of the women could have reminded Uncle Tom that they are long past the child bearing age.  “Look, ladies children come from God. In fact I am now dismissing you for abdicating your duty to populate this small country of ours.”

The point here is that there was never going to be a negotiation between the principal secretaries and Uncle Tom.
Only those with morsels of manure in their heads would have thought that Uncle Tom would have wanted to spend a few more weeks with the remnants of the last regime.

On an entirely different subject, Muckraker is thoroughly amused that someone has been trying to snoop on the prime minister. It takes both guts and desperation to bug such an office. What is however sad is that there is already an attempt by some excitable quarters to find the witch. Only slow minds can confidently claim that it’s the previous government that planted those alleged listening devices.

Apart from speculation, rumour and conjecture, there is no concrete evidence to subject that Size Two’s people could have come up with such a novel idea. It is unfair to give the previous government such splendid credit.  After all these are the same people who have claimed that the opposition rigged an election they funded and helped organise.  Now we say they were smart enough to plant bugs in Thabane’s office. Hell no! They are not that clever. Size Two’s coalition could not plot its way out of a shopping plastic bag.

Yet even if we assume that they stumbled upon the bugging idea in a rare moment of genius it is highly unlikely that what they gathered would have been of much benefit to their strategy (And that is if they know what a strategy is). Uncle Tom rarely threatens or engages in elaborate debates before action. The man is ruled by his intuition. He will fire you after you have shared a scrumptious breakfast with him.

He has those moments when he just feels like throwing someone onto the streets. He can fire you at a rally or funeral. So bugging his office is not the smartest way to gather intelligence.

To know what the man is thinking you should bug his head or plant as many spies as possible in his inner circle.
So who planted the bugs in the prime minister’s office?  The honest answer is that we still don’t know. We are not even sure that those bugs were not used on Size Two.  That, of course, has not stopped some excitable journalists from readily accepting the speculation that the army had a role in the whole thing.

There is a new trend in this country of blaming the army for almost any mishap.  A VIP gets full quickly and they say it’s the army that caused it. A drunk is run over by a reckless driver and they say it’s the army.  A herd of cattle goes missing in Thaba-Tseka and they say it’s the army.

Even if we have a storm in winter someone will whisper that it’s the army that caused it. It is this business of thinking with our ears that stops us from conducting proper investigations into scandals.  We think we know because we have heard.  A child has gone missing in a village and the villagers have surrounded an old granny’s house, ready to lynch her. And we say we are smart.

Previous Information is the key to development
Next Coderina is coming to NUL

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