The stinking Bidvest deal

The stinking Bidvest deal

GOVERNMENTS have a way of parading their madness in the most spectacular fashion. That the politicians that man governments right across the world are a demented lot has never been in dispute.

History settled that by providing ample evidence: from the wars they started to some of their inane decisions that have put the world in trouble.
There are times when you wonder whether politicians have had a collective surgery to replace their brains with manure. At times it looks like they are going out of their way to bungle things.

Every day they show a fanatical commitment to pushing the frontiers of crass idiocy.
No specie is as stubborn as a politician when it comes to plodding ahead in full speed towards self-destruction. They have a special way of mutilating themselves.
In this melee all we have to do is to stand by and watch as they gallop to the cliff. To try to stop them is an exercise in futility. You will probably sweat buckets and get nasty bruises but work done will remain zero.

Just watch the spectacle.
It is also advisable not to spur them on because they might just think they are being funny. Nothing is as dangerous as an idiot who thinks he is being humorous.
It is well known that if you ululate for a mad man at a funeral you must brace yourself for the time when you will have to stop him from molesting the corpse.
The established wisdom is that mad people must be left to their own devices. They live in their own world, one far removed from reality.
They come back to their senses at their own pace and time.

The government had such a Damascene moment this week when it accepted that it was wrong to sign the Bidvest deal in the first place.
The coalition government says it is now cancelling the scandalous deal with Bidvest. At what point they realised they were swimming in a septic tank full of maggots, we may never know.

It is however as clear as a pig’s behind that reality has dragged them by ears and eyelids back to their senses. Down, down, down, they have climbed from their high horses. Oops, I lie.
They are not climbing: they have fallen with a thud. Boom, boom and boom! That is the sound of ministers falling with a thud.
And that must be a painful landing for bums accustomed to be chauffeur-driven in those Mercedes Benz and Toyota Prados.
Finance Minister Tlohang Sekhamane was handed the task of announcing the death of the Bidvest deal and he did a decent job of it.
He said the deal was too expensive for government and country. Now the government wants to hire vehicles from Basotho, he said.
This was fine, except that he sounded as if the cancellation was an achievement of sorts for the government.
The people condemned the Bidvest deal when it was still a mere idea. From the onset they called the deal what it is: a stinking skunk.
Since then they have watched in dismay as the government held on to this diseased baby. Politicians in government have kissed and cuddled it for months as the people fumed at their lack of decency.
Sister Khaketla adamantly refused to accept culpability for the mess. When Thuso Litjobo called her a thief of money she screamed for an apology and when her demands were rebuffed she sprinted to High Court, tears welling her cheeks.
She was obviously wasting her tears on the wrong issue: more like a spoilt brat moping over a missing toy when the house is burning.
Instead, she should have been wailing over the national coffers she had been emptying to fund that Bidvest deal.
As Sekhamane spoke at the press conference you could see a tired man. It was clear that raising millions every month to feed Bidvest had taken its toll on him.
Here was a man who had come face to face with the real money-munching machine called Bidvest. It kept wanting more and more like a machonisa.
Khaketla had left a live ‘snake’ in the finance minister’s office and Sekhamane was running for his dear life.
The fatigue he showed at the press conference can therefore be easily explained. Here was a man who had been running since he came into office.
Here was a man who had been forced to resort to robbing other departments to pay Bidvest. Here was a man who was having nightmares over the Bidvest deal. He was squirming. At least he can now get some rest.

So why did it take the government more than a year to cancel this horrible deal. Well, the simple answer is that they are politicians.
Yet that will not aptly answer that question. The real answer is more complicated. Muckraker suspects that after admitting the deal was a mistake some people kept it alive to buy enough time to line their pockets.

Since it was laden with sleaze all they had to do was to keep it breathing until they have loaded their pocket to the brim.
The other explanation, equally compelling since its coming from Muckraker, is that it is the Bidvest people who pulled the plug for strategic reasons. The reputational damage to Bidvest had been immense. It is seen as a beneficiary of a corrupt act.

It could also be that Bidvest knew no government that will come into power after June 3, even this one if it comes back, would sustain this deal in its evil state.
In any case, with the government coffers under lock and key due to lack of budget there was a possibility that Bidvest would not be paid for the next three months.
And there was no guarantee that whoever was going to come into government would pay the outstanding debt. If you are naïve you could say the government cancelled the deal because it had suddenly come back to its senses.

The truth though is that this sounds like an election campaign strategy. Pull the plug on a crazy deal and get Basotho to provide cars.
That way they will think the government is empowering them. And if a new government tries to undo the arrangement it will face the wrath of the people.

Health Minister ‘Molotsi Monyamane must be ruing the day he opened his mouth to speak about the rubella vaccination debacle.
He is reported as having said those pictures of sick kids showing bad reactions to the vaccine were either manipulated or of children from somewhere north of us.
For that he was justifiably bludgeoned in the public court. As he later admitted, that sounded as insensitive and callous. Muckraker will not add to his misery. He is already flying in his own fat.

What Muckraker will not accept is the silly notion that there was a deliberate plan to poison Basotho children.
You have to be the king of morons to accept that a whole ministry would do that. There are buffoons on Facebook trying to peddle this nonsense with gusto.
Some lawyers are getting up to ambulance chasing antics to make some coins from these unfortunate incidents.

Yet anyone with even a cursory flirtation with Form Two science knows that reactions to vaccine are as common as corruption in this country.
You don’t need to have seen the door to a school to know that people react differently to medicines. Even sangomas will tell you the same.

The point here is that the ignoramuses spreading alarm and despondency because they have access to smart phones and cheap data should just zip it.
Cheap data is in the hands of rumour mongers and charlatans who speak before they think.
Where others are using social media to market their products they are busy advertising their idiocy. Rascals!

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