Underwears and lizards

Underwears and lizards

ANYONE who has lived in malaeneng knows of the scary and bizarre things that make it to those communal washing lines.
It was Muckraker’s pastime, back in the days, to sit on her door and watch the tatty underwears that are hung on those lines.
They come in all shapes, colours and sizes.

You get those so worn out that they are begging for a break and those so big that you can make a whole blanket out of them.
But the most hilarious part will always be the way the owners tried to cover them with towels.
They always hide them deftly so that the gaping holes are not visible to the unsuspecting eye.

But sometimes those undergarments would have seen so many better days that not even a blanket would cover their holes.
Muckraker recalls how one maid almost lost her job after she hung the madam’s tattered underwear near the gate.
Phew! It was a colossal pair that one. So riddled with holes that you would think someone had unleashed a jackhammer on them.
How such a torn thing could still hold together the madam’s sacred things we may never know. Suffice to say that she was still holding on to it even as its threads had long surrendered.
A nasty rumour from the wicked neighbours was that the madam liked it dearly because it was a Valentines’ present from one of her numerous lovers.
The undies reminded her of the days when she was petite enough to be called “sweetie”, they opined in hushed tones.
Muckraker swears she never said a word during those gossip sessions for she understood that food is never a good friend to a body.
Keep your nose in the fridge and confuse ciders for water if you want to see what she is talking about.

Madam however deserves some credit for unashamedly holding on to her relic even as gossips and naughty rascals from the village mocked it openly.
“You are finished like the madam’s underwear,” said one boy to a friend he was just about to defeat at a morabaraba game.
“Your face is as old as madam’s undies,” said one girl to a boy who had just said terrible things her nose.
Although such barbs eventually reached the madam’s ears she stood by her undies.
And who can blame her: we all have one of those pairs we cannot let go. Muckraker has one she has been holding on to since Uncle Tom formed the Yellow Plant.
The reason: good things always happen to her when she wears them.
When days are bad that pair has a way of soothing her.

The memories of madam’s legendary underwear came racing back to Muckraker’s mind last week when she heard how Size Two had spanked Mokola in the Constitutional Court.
The ruling was emphatic both in its endorsement of Size Two and its crushing blow on Mokola.
In short, the three judges said Mokola and his executive committee gang were power thieves masquerading as heroes.
They said Size Two was the Alpha and Omega of that party.
The party was his and Mokola and his gangs were tenants without a lease.
With that Mokola’s hectic pace towards the State House has come to a screeching halt.
His ambitions have been put on a backer-burner and there is not even a shred of evidence that they may be revived anytime soon.
Like the madam’s tattered underwear Mokola has been hung out to dry.
He is hanging by the eyelids. Bereft of the beloved DC Mokola is on a home straight to become a political nonentity.
The hell he put Size Two through over the past three months now seems like a church picnic compared to his new troubles. Banana peels have been offloaded on his path to the State House.
Poor Mokola does not have much room to manoeuvre even if he hires Sandawana.
Whatever route he takes leads only to a slippery slope into the political gutter.
Unless the crocodile from Machache has one more trick up his sleeves it is difficult to see how he can wriggle his way out of Size Two’s shackles.
He is no Scott so he cannot Vaseline his way out of this quagmire.

That much was clear at a subdued press conference he held this week to announce his defeat and hint at how he will be licking his gaping wounds in the next few days.
Looking sullen, he said he will form his own political party. Good for him. The problem though is that his will be just a fringe party devoid of substantial numbers.
Muckraker is tempted to tell him to join the Yellow Plant but that too might not be an attractive option. It’s a path that still leads to political oblivion. Uncle Tom hates competition and is never one to embrace political refugees unless they bring battalions of voters with them.  Even if Mokola brings a few busloads of supporters Uncle Tom would insist that he starts at the bottom. They call it the grassroots in African politics. This is not 2006. Uncle Tom has the numbers that give him political virility. He has not come this far by kissing political opponents and is not about to make that mistake. Without the DC brand Mokola will be a squatter, a thief of scarce oxygen.

It’s not that Mokola did not have a game plan when he started harassing Size Two. He just did not think Size Two would be so shrewd.
You see, history has shown that Size Two is a runner. Size Two was on the tracks way before Usain Bolt started breaking world records.
He ran from the BCP with his political godfather Ntsu Mokhehle in 1998. In 2012 he vamoosed from the LCD when Metsing got up to his monkeyshines.
So Mokola thought that trend would continue if he lit another bonfire on Size Two’s behind. Only this time the Tsoelike man said nada. He was not going to bolt out of the house he built. Besides, he is no longer a spring chicken so running would not get him far.

His only option was to rummage through his library for the DC constitution. And there it was in black and white: the party is like his personal property.
He can fire and hire depending on his mood. Those who wrote the constitution were determined to build a wall around him.
No longer will the leader go through the nerve-jangling moments he had when Metsing pulled a fast one on him.
So Size Two watched as Mokola and his cahoots plotted their way out of the party.
They were marching down a blind alley. Sensing an easy victory, Mokola and his people pulled the party from the coalition government, eloped with Uncle Tom and suspended Size Two. Only then did the Sesotho teacher show his claws and by that time Mokola had played all his cards.

You can be sure that Mokola’s people will insist that the judgement changes nothing and that the special conference held over the weekend is a sham.
It is the same thinking they relied upon when they started this battle. They were too engrossed in their pursuit for the control of the party that they forgot to read the constitution.
Those who dismiss recent events do so to alleviate the pain of defeat and minimise Size Two’s political prowess. This time he has clobbered them.
He has the DC in his bag and has swallowed the keys to Parliament.

He told the DC supporters who came to the special conference that he is going to call an election if Mokola ties any funny tricks in a parliament.
Mokola and his people cannot yank him out of power unless they do it through the ballot.  And therein lies Mokola troubles: for the first time in his illustrious political career he will have to stand on his own. The voters will have to judge him as Mokola the leader and not Mokola the follower. Forming a new party takes him out of his comfort zone.
He has to show that his claim to fame has nothing to do with those he followed but everything to do with his own skills. We will see if Mokola is a real crocodile or an overrated lizard.
Muckraker will be disappointed if it turns out that Mokola is a lizard. This was a man who has told us that he can chew and spit out political opponents.
Phew! Kkikikkikkikiik. The daughter of Mafube is laughing all the way into Christmas.

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