Welcome to the thug world

Welcome to the thug world

A Lesotho minister visits a Malaysian minister. They take a tour of the magnificent capital city before returning to the Malaysian minister’s house for lunch. The Mosotho minister is stunned by the opulence of the six-bedroomed house.

There are imported Italian tiles and expensive art on the walls. The furniture is custom-made.
There is a private chef, a butler and three maids. The Mosotho minister asks his host how he earned such good things.

The Malaysian takes him to the balcony.
“You see that massive road on the right and the skyscraper on the right? I was in charge of hiring the contractors and they gave me 10 percent of the total budget as a bribe,” the Malaysian minister says.
The Mosotho minister just nods and they get back to other state matters.

Three years later the Malaysian minister visits the Mosotho minister in Maseru. The local minister takes his visitor on a tour of the city before they return to his 15-bedroom home for dinner.
The Malaysian minister is shocked at the lavish house. There are gold-coated chandeliers and marble tiles. The house looks like a small hotel, with dozens of maids catering to the minister’s and his family’s needs. Outside are an Olympic size pool and a gym the size of Lehakoe.

The Malaysian asks how the Mosotho minister acquired such things. His host takes him to the balcony.
“You see that 15 storey building along Mpilo road?” the Mosotho asks his guest as he points towards the city.
“But I don’t see any such building,” said the Malaysian. “Well, there isn’t because I hired the contractors and they paid me 100 percent of the project budget as a bribe. I swallowed it all,” says the Mosotho minister.
“But why would you do that to your people,” asks the guest.

“They are my people in blood and nationality but when it comes to money we are not related. I don’t know them. And I am not alone in this stealing business. My colleagues are doing worse.”
That is the story of how our politicians loot national resources with gusto. No shame. No moderation. Just gobbling everything.

Our politicians are such pathological thieves that if they break into a shack and find nothing worth stealing they will grab the broom and dash out. They just have to take something to satiate their thieving addiction.
Little wonder we have slid down the ranks on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index of 2018. Released this week, the index shows that our country is becoming more corrupt.

In fact it shows that corruption is worse that it was three years ago. Muckraker will not tell you how we compare to other regional countries because that is precisely what politicians will seek to do. Nyoe, nyoe, nyoe, but we are better than Malawi, Angola and Zimbabwe.

Yet the point of the index is not for us to measure ourselves against our peers. The purpose is to work towards eradicating corruption in all forms. Not because we want to improve our ranking but so we prosper as a country.
Our insolent politicians don’t care though. What however shocks Muckraker is the speed at which politicians are broke when they are booted out of office. Just look at how most congress politicians are wallowing in poverty.

Another three years out of power and they will be begging on street corners, holding placards that read: “Help! I am a former thief who squandered his fortune” and “Help! My flesh molamu ate all my money”.


No matter what happens in Professor Mahao’s court case the lessons are clear. We are learning that politics is a crude game full of brutal characters in suits.
We know that in that game people are allowed to make rough tackles and use elbows if they think they are about to lose a race. We are aware that to politicians it matters not how they win because the means justifies the end.
And so we watch in horror as Mahao is chained to a tree called technicalities so that he doesn’t run the fair race.
Meanwhile, someone is still saying: on your marks, get set and go.

You don’t have to wonder why the game has become so toxic. Whoever wins the deputy leader position is Uncle Tom’s heartbeat away from leading the party and ruling the country.
In a way you could say that Mahao was naïve to think he would be embraced with open arms.
He should have known that he is walking into a hardhat area. What he has faced over the past two months is probably only a teaser of what is going to come his way in the next few days.

Brickbats will be hurled at him and pangas will be drawn.
If he wants to come out of this fight with all limbs then he has to fight like a bull: horns locked, face flinched and a bit of manure on the back (if you did not herd cattle it’s your funeral). That is what this battle is about.
Out of this brouhaha we learn that you cannot put anything past a politician. Education is not a hindrance to thuggish behaviour. Neither is position or exposure. Nor is experience. We are dealing with an uncouth bunch that respects no rules of fairness of decorum.

Mahao should have known that the omens were against him when the party’s NEC started questioning his history in the party. He should have seen that all was not well when Uncle Tom talked about the smelly things on his loin.
Some newspaper said there was going to be a meeting between Mahao and Uncle Tom this week.
No such meeting was scheduled. There was not even any communication between the two.
If you think Uncle Tom will come down and grovel to Mahao then you are slow.

Uncle Tom has never been in the business of backing away from a fight. He fights fast, furious and rough.
He will kick you when you are down because he knows that in politics you should completely destroy your enemy, lest they gather their forces and strength to fight another day.


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