Muckraker: The little handsome chap

Muckraker: The little handsome chap

SPARE a thought for Moeketsi Majoro, that handsome chap who runs our finances.
Last week he told Cabinet colleagues that he is having nightmares as he battles to plug the holes in the government’s kitty. The pith and marrow of his presentation was that the government was as broke as a church mouse.

He might soon lose the spring in his step because of the humongous mess he has been asked to sort out.
That flashy smile will disappear and he will become darker.
That is what happens when you are dealing with a stubborn problem like the one this government is facing. Money is the problem and Majoro doesn’t know where to find it.
Not even Bushiri’s miracle money (nonsense) will help this government out of this crunch.

It won’t help to blame Size Two because he is not coming back to help.
While Majoro and his colleagues point long fingers at him, Size Two is playing with his camels.
And even if, by some fluke, he comes he has neither the skill nor the will to sort out the problems.

Majoro and his colleagues should therefore just zip it and get on with the business of filling the hole left by Size Two.
People don’t give a rat’s behind about the cause of a problem.
They want solutions and this government said it had a bagful of them when it came into office.

Uncle Tom and his people were elected to solve problems, not bellow about them.

A day after spooking his comrades with this horror story Majoro told the nation the same sorry story about the empty vaults.
If you are shocked by his statement then you are either slow or ignorant, or both.

There was nothing astounding about his words because they were already in the public domain.
The only people who were stunned were his comrades who have insisted on pretending that all is well because they don’t want to stop their opulent international junkets.
And you can bet you last coin that even after being told of this scary tale they will not stop perambulating the globe in Business and First Class.

You have to feel pity for Majoro. He is dealing with a group of unrepentant freeloaders hell-bent on milking government coffers.
At the same time he has to deal with new holes being drilled into the government’s pockets by brazen thieves who moonlight as government employees.
Now that the government’s pockets are perforated some are feigning shock.
Such acting will not wash.

Majoro has some daring plans to raise money. He says he will cut international travel, slash per diems and freeze hiring.
All of which are excellent but impractical ideas.

The international travels will continue and the per diems will be claimed even if he clambers the highest mountain and screams.
This government will keep hiring because that is the only way it can keep garrulous supporters silent.
Majoro says there will be a government lottery to raise money.

That is a good idea but he is beginning to sound like a broken record because he has said this before.
He must just get on with the business of helping Basotho gamble their hard-earned monies in the name of raising revenue.
He also wants to raise the fuel levy and increase tax on tobacco. That is fine.

Muckraker’s real problem is that Majoro also wants to increase tax on alcohol. Now that is sabotage of a national pastime.
Majoro underestimates the therapeutic power of alcohol in this country.
He obviously does not understand that a little intoxication is what is keeping a lot of people going in this hellish place.
His suggestion can only work sense if he is going to establish stress counselling centres in every village. Either that or he expands Mohlomi hospital.

Muckraker is amused by a new sickness afflicting the government’s communication strategy.
Someone in this government suffers the illusion that being verbose is a sign of sophistication.
So statements that should clarify simple allegations are being turned into doctoral thesis as the writer meanders down valleys and up mountains just to make a simple point.
After reading the statements you are left more confused than informed.

And you wonder if there is some undeclared competition in the government’s communication department to see who will express the simplest idea in the most complicated way.
The result, of course, is that those who write the statements are only speaking to themselves.
They are pleasuring themselves without getting the message across to the people.
Such verbal masturbation sires no children.

An example of this unprovoked assault on the people is the statement claimed to have come out of the government secretary’s office.
Spelling out the government’s position on accusations that it is pelting the chief justice with boulders was the simple mission of that statement.
Yet as you read it you wonder if the writer was high on something toxic and illegal.

The statement is peppered with long sentences that send the mind reeling.
Any writer who doesn’t accept that the full-stop is the most important punctuation mark should keep away from the business of writing public statements.

Muckraker refuses to believe that the government secretary could have come up with such a shoddy statement. An accountant, the government secretary is a man who thrives on being precise.
His mistake was to ask for the assistance of some excitable bureaucrat too eager to show that he can spit out some big words. You know the kind that writes statements while sitting on a thesaurus.
The statement that came out of that outsourcing of skills is an example of how not to communicate.

The statement is sprinkled with horribly long sentences, some stretching to nearly hundred words.
While the writer seems to be a passionate disciple of long sentences he has very little appreciation of the punctuation marks that should control them.
The results are misplaced commas and semi-colons that bash the mind instead of polishing it.
While Muckraker understands that the wrong use of a comma is a direct result of poor primary education she cannot comprehend when and how the semi-colon madness slithered into the minds of most local writers.

She can only speculate that this semi-colon habit was picked at university as students who generally have nothing important to say tried to be too elaborate at the expense of substance.
The idea was to bury the drivel in the long sentence and hope the lecturer will tire before he could make any sense out of the tosh.
While the writer was scattering the punctuation marks with reckless abandon he also had the time to throw in words like ‘affectations’, ‘portending’, ‘pontifical’ , ‘undergird’ and ‘deigning’.
All those in a statement directed at people who don’t know the difference between ‘sent’ and ‘send’ and ‘scent’. ‘Quiet’ and ‘quite’. ‘Ear’ and ‘eye’.

Such emotional abuse has no place even in the lowly profession of public relations. Muckraker will not bother to define those words because they add no value to anything.
You may also be tempted to ask if Muckraker thinks only she has the right to use mouthful words.
The answer is ‘yes’. And the reason is that unlike the writer of that offensive statement she is not writing for Form ‘E’ graduates.

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