From hopose to cocktails

From hopose to cocktails

WE all have friends and relatives whose taste for expensive things is not backed by their bank balances.
Their imagination runs wild as soon as they get into a restaurant or bar. They will scan the menu, looking for the most expensive drinks or food.
Muckraker has seen young girls, with their roots still deep in the villages, ordering cocktails whose names they can never pronounce or spell.
They don’t even know what is in the cocktail but they want to taste it because they are not paying the bill. Then there are friends who start talking about Chivas, Glenfiddich and Black Label because they believe someone else will pick up the tab.

The hilarious part comes when the waiter brings the bill. As soon as it lands on the table they start asking for toothpicks or the directions to the bathroom.
Some will start making fake calls to their spouses or partners.
They will just pull their phones from the pocket and start saying “hello, hello, hello” as they walk away from the table. The idea is to be as far away from the bill as possible so that they are not separated from their money.

They will pretend to be speaking on the phone while secretly glancing at the table, hoping someone will pull out their wallet to pay the bill.
Once the bill is paid they will slowly walk to the table while pretending to be wrapping up their fictitious conversation.
“Okay, okay, we will talk later. It’s fine, we will talk later dear.”

Instead of asking about the bill they will concoct some small talk about corruption and fraud in government. The fraud they have just committed on the bill is quickly forgotten.
Muckraker used to have a friend who would start moaning about her money problems when the bill comes.

“Yoh, my friend. My mother broke her leg last week. My father was stung by a bee. My brother is in jail. That sister of mine keeps asking for my help. Yoh, life is tough my friend.” She says this while her tummy is teeming with a M100 glass of cocktails. And as we walk out of the bar she starts fumbling through her bag. Out comes a miserly M50 note.
“My friend this is what is between me and poverty. I don’t even know how I will buy petrol to get home today,” she says, with her weaved up head hung on her shoulder.
There are also relatives who suddenly acquire expensive tastes because you are the one paying the bill.

You know the kind that refused to pick fat cakes at a local café because they think you can afford to take them to a proper restaurant.
They want to drink whiskey instead of their usual hopose. The ladies suddenly remember expensive wines they read in Mills and Boons. The uncles remember how to say ‘Cognac’.

So what has the freeloading relatives and friends got to do with anything? Well, the same terrible habits find their way into our politics.
The corruption we have in this country has nothing to do with necessity.

No politician gets bribed because he wants to buy food for his relatives. It’s never about a pressing need but their taste for things they can ill afford. The root of corruption is not poverty but greed.
When a politician wants something he never asks how hard he had to work to get it. He asks who gets him what he wants. That is why our country is overflowing with corrupt politicians.
Let’s put it in simple language so that we don’t get lost in the interpretation. Our politicians are hobos in the pockets of certain individuals. They have been captured.
Of course they will deny it with their lives because they don’t want to be seen as freeloading spineless charlatans masquerading as men and women of steel. The nobbling of politicians is nothing new.

Remember the havoc the Guptas wreaked in South Africa? Recall how politicians in America are beholden to the lobbyists who pour millions into their campaigns in exchange for favourable policies.

Almost every politician is a beneficiary of some baron somewhere. The only difference with Lesotho’s politicians is that they are dirty cheap. They sell their souls for trinkets and small change.

To see this you only have to hear the morass John Xie is dishing out on our politicians. He is telling shocking tales of how he has shoved politicians into his pockets. And all it took for the politicians to hibernate into his pockets were a few goodies

We now know that Uncle Tom lived in Xie’s mansion for a token in rentals. We have been told that Size Two’s daughter, Thato Nkhahle, had her wedding funded by Xie. Holy dung! And DJ Waters’ birthday shindig would not have happened were it not for Xie’s benevolence.
Muckraker is not shocked by these revelations, for she has always known that our politicians can sell their souls for the cheap. None of Xie’s acts of generosity are justified. Let’s get this right: people must learn to fund their own housing, weddings and parties.

We know that Xie was eventually appointed special adviser to the prime minister, thanks to his generosity. No CV was requested.
The interview went something like this: “My brother thank you for housing me during my troubles. I don’t know how I will ever repay you.”
“Oh, don’t mention it Ntate. All I want is your ear once in a while”.
“In that case let’s call you special adviser.”

And the deal was done: Xie was hired while Basotho screamed in disgust.
Still, we should remember that Uncle Tom got shelter, a basic human need, from Xie.

But the same cannot be said for Size Two’s daughter whose wedding is alleged to have been bankrolled by Xie.
Weddings, by their nature, are matters of choice. They are never about life and death. They are a luxury. The rule about such unnecessary jamborees is that you can only have them when you can afford.

There is pride in funding your own wedding. But you can’t tell that to some people, especially those in power or in close proximity to it. They don’t care who funds their weddings.
The bigger the better, even if they have not funded it. Elsewhere it will be embarrassing for a Prime Minister to have his daughter’s wedding funded by a stranger.
But not here. The guests came in droves to make merry on Xie’s tab. All the while the couple was pretending that they had paid all their bills from their pockets.
Size Two sat there with a cheeky smile while he wallowed the glory of a father whose daughter was having a fabulous wedding.
You have to give it to politicians and their relatives. They have a way of pretending to have achieved something.

Fortunately the illusion never lasts long especially when the benefactor realises that the beneficiary is no longer useful.
Xie has found new masters and he is milking them for everything they have got. He will probably fund another wedding soon. Xie does this brazenly because he is in it to buy political influence.
As long as he can pay his way through the corridors of power he will keep writing the cheques. And he can still spill the beans because he knows that the relationship between politicians and money is similar to that of flies and manure.

Flies don’t care whose manure they are munching. They are not concerned if the manure comes from humans, insects or animals. To politicians what matters is the money and not the source.
If you thought Xie’s funding of Uncle Tom’s accommodation and the wedding of Size Two’s daughter then you haven’t heard about Metsing’s birthday party. As Xie explains it, DJ Waters wanted a massive bash but could not afford it.

‘Angel’ Xie came to the rescue. So there we have it: Xie funded Metsing’s birthday in the same way you fund your toddler’s fifth birthday. It would be funny were it not something patently scandalous. We know that Metsing, Uncle Tom and Size two were eventually going to repay Xie using state resources.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

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