Phori, amateurs and CJ

Phori, amateurs and CJ

MUCKRAKER is furious that no church has called a day, of prayer for Acting Chief Justice ’Maseforo Mahase at a time when she is having a pounding headache over the ABC election case.
The only sort of empathy came in the form of a single line in a shabby epistle from the Judicial Officers Association of Lesotho (Joale).

Muckraker vividly recalls that sentence because it was the only lucid one in that jumbled up letter.
“We members of the Judicial Officers Association of Lesotho hope this letter finds Your Lordship in good health in these rainy and cold days,” Joale said.
It’s not clear if this was a mischievous reference to Justice Mahase’s recent troubles. The letter itself was something to behold because of its long and zigzagging sentences.
Before moaning about salaries and poor working conditions, the magistrates should be asking the government to fund a two-day workshop on the use of a full stop. For those who don’t know, the full stop is the most powerful punctuation mark in English.

It stops you from looking like a scatter-brain. Love it and it will make your writing better.
Loath it and it will expose you together with your Grade Three teacher.
There will also be a session on the comma, the most dangerous punctuation mark in English. Love it without understanding its rules and it will wreak havoc in your writing. Joale has no respect for both the full stop and the comma.
The result is that their letters read like they were written by someone whose bladder was just about to burst with pee.

So sentences read like paragraphs crammed with a mishmash of unrelated ideas.
Little wonder no one in government is dealing with their grievances. Their letters don’t make sense. You don’t know whether they are saying their salaries are too low or too high.
And by the time you finish reading you are left wondering if they are complaining, pleading or simply putting things on record.
Muckraker is not suggesting that Joale’s leadership hires Nthakeng Selinyane, the affable government spokesperson, who is also refusing to be courted by both the comma and full stop.
He has since told them that he will never fall in love with them because they are suggesting a polygamous relationship.

But let’s get back to Justice Mahase’s “good health in these rainy and cold days”. If Muckraker was Justice Mahase she would have responded with a short letter.
“Dear Joale. Thank you for asking about my health. I must hasten to tell you that the days are not only cold and rainy but also dark. Your complaints about salaries and working conditions are Mickey Mouse business when compared to the horror that has befallen me.
“Comrades, I laugh when you cry about the independence of the judiciary. If I knew that my promotion would lead to concerted and nefarious efforts to capture me I would have remained a mere judge. Yet here I am, being asked to separate two quarrelling rascals.”

They started their own petty fight in the veld but they want me to decide who was wrong. As you might know, I wasn’t there when they scratched each other. I was here minding my own business when I saw them trooping into my chambers, each complaining that the other bit him during the fight.
“So when you wish me good health in these rainy and cold days, you should remember that your words are not as comforting as you think. What I need is a raincoat and a blanket. If you can deliver those we might begin to talk about ‘good health’. For now, let me crack my head on how to deal with this ABC fiasco.”
“I love the party but its skirmishes are getting to my nerves. Sometimes the prospect of delivering that judgement gives me a running tummy. Sometimes, I want to tell them to go hang but then there is this small matter of the perks that come with this acting position. As chief justice I no longer have to pound the corridors of the Palace of Justice looking for tea and printing paper.”

“Ooh, shame! You should see my brothers, Justice Monapathi and Justice Peete begging for tissues. It’s comical. Justice Monapathi will be teasingly rubbing his moustache as he explains why he needs the tissue sooner than yesterday. When things are really tough he even pretends to have a running nose just to make sure he gets the tissue.”
“As for Justice Peete, I can only say Lord have mercy. The man will tell you how he forgot that too much beans is not good for his tummy. One day he threatened to offload his bowels in the registrar’s office after she said they were still waiting for money from government to buy more tissues.”
“These are good men who are treated badly by the government. At the end of the day, I am just a chief justice trying to be confirmed to the substantive position. The point I am making, I am sure your legal minds will comprehend, is that you are not the only ones with problems in this judiciary.
“So kiss that dirty baby of yours while we wait for Wasco to open the water taps.

Yours faithfully,

Acting Chief Justice Mahase.

PS: next time keep your letters short because we don’t know when we will get the next supply of printing paper. I hear the last rim was used by court interpreters in the toilets. ”

Joale members will notice that even when pretending to be Justice Mahase, Muckraker respects commas and full stops.
Here is a hilarious but dead serious story. Three National University of Lesotho (NUL) students dodged an examination because they had not studied. They had spent the previous night imbibing the merry waters.
When their hangover was subsiding they smeared themselves with grease and went to see their lecturer.
“Sir, we are sorry we couldn’t make it to the exam. We attended a wedding and our car broke down. That’s why we are so dirty, as you can see.”
The lecturer said he understood and gave them three days to prepare. After three days, they went to the lecturer ready for the exam. The lecturer put them in three separate classes with only four questions in the exam paper.

1. Who got married? (25 marks),
2. Where was the reception held? (25marks)
3. Where exactly did the car break down? (25marks)
4. What type of car broke down? (25marks)
Please note that your answers must be the same as those of your two friends.
They are still in the exam hall as we speak. The lesson of the story: The truth shall set you free.
Go ahead and laugh loud. Louder! You may laugh but this is exactly what is happening at the Ministry of Small Business. A few days ago the ministry stood on Thabana-Ntlenyana to announce its latest “innovation”.

This time it was playing pimp for some start-up called Basotho Meat Enterprise which claims to be selling shares to locals. You could see from the Facebook post that the ministry officials who posted that ‘pimping’ note were jubilant and thought they were delivering spectacular news to investment-opportunity-starved Basotho.
“We will cut the long story and go straight to the point,” said the officials as if they were about to make an earth-shattering declaration.
Muckraker’s ears pricked but she was soon flabbergasted by what she read next.
Here was a whole ministry hawking shares of a private company at a public market.
The company, registered only six months ago, was selling each share for M80 000.
Yes, you heard that right.

A ministry that looks after the interests of traders was proudly announcing that a private company was selling a share for M80 000. The irony of a ministry yelping about an M80 000-share was obviously lost on the culprit.
It however did not take long for the tall story to start crumbling. Muckraker’s colleagues were not buying the gobbledygook so they made a few calls.
They called Chalane Phori, the Minister, and Mosito Khethisa, the man who seems to be the brains behind the Basotho Meat Enterprise. And lo and behold, the story lost its legs fast.
Why is a private company offering shares to the public? How did you get to the M80 000 price? How much did the initial investor put in it? Why is the share capital one million Maloti?
Phori and Khethisa have been scrambling to answer those simple questions for the past five days. In one room Phori is talking about empowering Basotho, a mantra he desperately clutches at whenever he faces tough questions.

Khethisa is in another room, violently scratching his head to find answers to simple arithmetic. When asked how the share price got to M80 000, he started counting his fingers.
He cannot figure the simple relationship between the number of shares and the price of each share. To cut the long story short, Phori and Khethisa cannot give tallying answers to simple questions. All this is because their whole scheme is amateurish.
They dived into Maqalika Dam when they could not swim. Why did they jump in the first place?

Well, it’s because they are excitable fellows who happen to labour under the illusion that Basotho are as impressionable as they are.
They did not even bother to match their stories before plonking that offensive missive on Facebook. So now confusion is oozing from their mouths as they try to make sense of what they were thinking when they made the post.
Khethisa is at sea while Phori is groping in the dark. Both fervently hope their bunkum will eventually sort itself out. But don’t be surprised for we always do things in haste and in reverse in this country. We impregnate before we marry. We build houses and then plan the settlement later.

We drive before we get a licence. The truth is that the whole transaction stinks because it’s both legally and mathematically crippled.
Whoever designed the scheme has a morsel of manure in their head. What irritates Muckraker is that no one in the ministry, teeming with graduates, noticed that this was bunk.
We should be laughing at such a brazen display of incompetence were this not a naked attempt to pull a fast one on Basotho. The whole idea that this is some empowerment scheme makes the whole ministry look hopelessly inapt and inept.

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