Mochoboroane’s silly errand

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 clobbering thieves will make a difference.
They honestly believe that they are doing a job of exposing crooks. At least there are some MPs who think the government vaults are not a piggy bank.
It’s refreshing to have a bunch that seems to care about what happens to state funds. It doesn’t matter if they are feigning concern or doing it to boost their political careers.

What is important is that they are doing something about the rampant corruption overflowing in government offices.
Kudos to them for trying to go against the grain of incompetence, thievery and mediocrity. But Muckraker thinks the committee members are on a wild goose chase.

When they have extracted confirmations from thieves, caught some red-handed and amassed a battalion of witnesses they will realise that all their sweat was for nothing.
After screaming and howling they will see that nothing ever changes in this country.

The media has called the hearings ‘grilling’ and ‘roasting’ but the only thing that is being grilled or roasted is government money.
Mochoboroane is aware of this salient fact and so too are his comrades on the committee. The hearings are a spectacle that allows the public to peep into the corrupt activities in government offices.
To some, like Muckraker, they are a comical relief from the horrors of living in a country that doesn’t have a clue of where it is going.
They are a timely deviation from the drivel gushing from the mouths of politicians.
At least we are not hearing the same nauseating stories about factionalisms and splits.
Our indolent journalists have some worthwhile stories to write.

For once we are being favoured with the gory details of how our money is being munched by people who claimed to be working for us and leading us.
Those are stories that flavour our bar talk and gossip sessions.

In a country bereft of intelligent debate and real entertainment, the hearings are what keeps us amused.
We laugh heartily because for the first time we know that neighbour who works in government and has been bragging about being a hardworker is a wretched thief who cannot even spell her name under pressure from the PAC.
We now know that when he leaves home in the small hours of the morning and returns at dark he is working overtime to drill holes into the government vaults.

The children of us the poor now know that their parents cannot afford bicycles because they are not thieves.
No longer shall our children be made to feel that their parents are not working hard enough.
They can get back at the children of thieves by reminding them about the PAC hearings.
“Shut up you son of a thief of money,” they will say.

“I deserve to ride your bike because it was bought by money stolen from the government.”
“Hey Thabo bring that government ball to the ground.”
We are amused because we know that all those church testimonies about being “blessed” are a ruse to hide the sleaze that fills their pockets.
Government money is what they mean when they tell their fake prophets that “they receive!”

The tithes, donations and unsolicited help are just a way to vacuum their sullied conscience. There comes a time in the sorry life of a thief when voices of reason begin to shout in their ears. At some point, a crook should seek to sedate their conscience.

Mochoboroane and his comrades claim to have powers to summon even a cockroach in Thamae. Indeed, they can subpoena a goat.
We see this power in how reluctant witnesses and thieves have been dragged to the hearings by their eyelids, kicking and screaming.
We have noticed how bearded men and breasted women have had their behinds spanked so hard that they scratched them all the way to their homes.
We have seen how the most garrulous of civil servants have stammered when confronted with evidence of their misdeeds.

Some civil servants now know that those bosses who pretend to be iron ladies and iron men are just pathetic pretenders whose reputation of being fearsome is a legend akin to that of an owl having horns.

The committee is mining the truth out of reluctant witnesses and unrepentant thieves.
The people are tickled and shocked at what happens in government offices.
But that is all there is to the hearings.

There will be no penalties beyond them. There won’t be any desserts for those caught with their hands in the cookie jar.
Muckraker will tell you this because she doesn’t have a gambling problem. She will never bet on the impossible happening.
Those whose chicanery has been exposed will continue to perambulate our streets even with the word ‘guilty’ tattooed on their foreheads.
This will happen for several reasons. The first is that there is no culture of accountability in this country.

Every dubious act is explainable through history, expedience and excuses. History will say others who have done the same were not punished.
Expedience says I had to do it because I am underpaid and the boss put me under pressure.
Excuses say ‘it wasn’t me’, ‘ask Thabang’ and ‘I don’t remember what happened’.

The second reason is that we celebrate bulls**t in this country.
The same mouth that pretends to be disgusted at the mention of corruption is the same that is busy kissing thieves and waiting to enjoy the crumbs from the high table of graft.

Third, our politicians are too compromised to raise a finger against the crooks in government offices. They too have been stealing government money by truckloads. They are in no position to fight corruption when they are partaking in its commission every day.
Fourth, our police have been shown to be thieves as well. We have always suspected them but the PAC hearings have proven that beyond reasonable doubt.

They will therefore not arrest anyone until they have arrested their own officers, including senior ones, who have been exposed by the PAC.
It’s your choice to pray or appease your ancestors for that to happen.
Muckraker opts to say ‘nxa’.

Fifth, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) is a pathetic excuse of an anti-corruption unit.
I doubt if it can successfully investigate a simple case of missing offering money at a church. It has neither the capacity nor the will to be taken seriously.

The sixth reason is that it will take much more than the PAC’s sterling job to stop the culture of corruption in this country.
We live in a country where life revolves around corruption. We have gladly embraced this vice as a way of life.
The only reason we get angry at what is being exposed at PAC hearings is that we are probably jealous that we are not the ones who have lined our pockets with the millions others are said to have looted.

We are disgusted because it is others, and not us, who are living large on the proceeds of corruption.
So as we pretend to be celebrating Mochoboroane’s crusade against corruption we should see it for what it really is: much ado about something that looks and smells serious but is just a short-lived comical relief.
We are a screwed nation.

That pessimistic perhaps but it’s the reality we have to embrace before we can hope for a better future.
In the meantime lets laugh at the PAC hearing like we did when Uncle Tom wore that hideous pink garment.
Let’s laugh like we did when Brother ‘Maseribane got cheeky when asked about the donations from Aaron Banks.
But as we chuckle let’s remember that the joke is on us.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

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