Taking a knife to a gun fight

Taking a knife to a gun fight

MUCKRAKER is a huge fan of Court of Appeal President Justice Kananelo Mosito. That he carries an outstanding legal mind on his shoulders has never been in doubt. Even his colleagues – some of whom curse the ground he steps on – begrudgingly acknowledge he knows his stuff.

But there is a difference between a mind that knows the law and one that knows life. For months Justice Mosito has shown that he is a master of the law and a novice at the subject called life.

How else can we explain his willingness to be bludgeoned by Size Two over a position for which he did not even apply? For being the president of the Court of Appeal Justice Mosito has been clapped, kicked and shoved. All because the person who appointed him lost an election.

For almost a year now Size Two has been chasing the poor judge all over town. He says Justice Mosito is a beneficiary of the madness Uncle Tom suffered during his last days in office.

On that one he may be right, although it may also be a case of a baboon calling a pig ugly. What gets Muckraker’s goat is that the poor judge actually thinks this is a battle he can win.

Not only that, he thinks after winning the fight he will get to work in peace.

 

The naivety here is astonishing. You see, there is nothing the judge can do to change Size Two’s heart. Size Two has not made it a secret that he wants him out pronto. He is neither scheming nor plotting against the judge. He is actively kicking the poor judge in the face while dragging him to the gate at the Palace of Justice.

Size Two has not only taken off his gloves in this fight, he has gathered weapons. He started counting Justice Mosito’s days in office from the day he walked back into the office after nearly three years in the political wilderness. As he said “I, Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili do solemnly swear that I will serve the country…” he was already looking for ways to throw the judge under the bus.

The sad part is that the judge doesn’t seem to realise that the outcome of this battle has already long been decided. He is playing a rigged game yet he thinks he still has a chance. This is where Muckraker says the judge is a greenhorn when it comes to life.

 

So what was the judge supposed to do, you may ask. The answer is that Justice Mosito should just vamoose. Not because he is incompetent or that he was not appointed properly. No. He should just hit the road because this fight is not worth it.

For starters, there can only be one loser in this battle and it’s going to be the judge.

Second, he is fighting a man with nothing to lose. Mosisili doesn’t give a rat’s behind what happens. As the battle drags on, thanks largely to the judge’s stubbornness, it is only the Mosito name that is being dragged in the mud.

Dirt has already started being thrown at him. They are pelting him with manure. His secrets are being sold in the streets of Maseru like moreana.

We did not know that he used to forget to file his tax returns until he refused to be yanked out of office. Bit by bit Size Two has been pricking the judge. Now he has set vicious dogs him.

Justice Mosito’s mistake has been to think this is a contest of equals. It is not and never will be. You don’t need to have reached Standard Six to see that the judge has taken a knife to a gunfight.

 

When the battle started the judge rushed to the courts to launch a plethora of cases. In the cases he accused the man from Tseolike of violating the law and acting unprodedurally. All of which might have been enough to spoil a reputation were he fighting a different opponent.

Size Two doesn’t give a hoot what is said about him because he has been called worse things. To call him a prime minister who violates procedure is actually a compliment.

In any case, there is no reputation to protect because it is either already squandered or, if there are remnants, it is of no use to him because he will not be seeking re-election. Remember too that Size Two is more interested in achieving what he wants and not what people say about him.

Justice Mosito cannot afford to be aloof to what people think about him. He still wants to be seen as an astute lawyer with an impeccable reputation. To preserve what remains of his reputation he should just throw in the towel and go back to his law firm to work on more important things.

In fact, he should have done that as soon as he saw Size Two charging at him like an angry bull. Then he would have been remembered as a judge who was hounded out of office. He would have been remembered as a poor judge who fell victim to political machinations. History always judges victims of political shenanigans favourably.

 

It would have been fathomable if Justice Mosito had at least won the battle on his own turf: the courts. Sadly, he lost horribly.

First the Constitutional Court told him to go hang. Then last week the Court of Appeal, the very court he leads, told him to find somewhere to play. His colleagues were particular scathing in their assessment of his case.

They tore him to pieces as if he was not one of their won. You could literally touch their contempt for his case. With his legal options exhausted the judge will still have to face Size Two who in addition to the power now has the law on his side.

Justice Mosito cannot say he was not given a chance to fight for himself. Armed with two judgements in his favour Size Two can gloat to his zealots that he is doing the right thing. The judge has been hoist by his own petard.

There is no ‘Lazarus moment’ for him. Henceforth he is at Size Two’s mercy. All this happened because the judge failed to read the game. He tried to fight a political battle using legal tools.

What is galling is that he was probably correct in his assertions that he is being targeted. He might as well continue to use the same claim to explain his troubles.

But having given his opponent an opportunity to be vindicated by two court judgements the judge is no longer in a position to shout as loudly as he would have done had he merely allowed himself to be pushed out politically.

The lesson: not all battles have to be fought. Sometimes victory is in giving up.

That is life, not law. Only aunty Muckraker can teach you that.

 

Nka! Ichuuuuu!

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