The art of Polistitution

The art of Polistitution

SOME years back in Mafube, Muckraker watched in disgust as some bullies insulted her friend Lineo.

It had started as harmless playground banter about her knock-on knees and missing front tooth.

Lineo had gallantly fought back, calling the boys dunderheads who could neither read nor count to twenty.But the teasing had taken a dark turn along the way to include families. Little Lineo was holding her own until one of the bullies said her mother was a prostitute.

That hit a raw nerve and tears welled her ashen cheeks, leaving little Muckraker the task of consoling her. It was a low blow delivered with vim. Muckraker felt it too for Lineo was her dear friend. In her little mind she was friends with a girl whose mother was a prostitute.

There was no iota of truth in the insult but the little rascal had said it with so much confidence that it sounded true. It was as if he had bought some pleasure from Lineo’s mother. To prove it Lineo would have had to bring her mother to the playground there and there.

At that moment, Muckraker learned that there are no rules in fights. Go mean and bold. Facts don’t matter. The truth is a luxury. The idea is just to knock out the opponent and move on. The rascal had done exactly that to Lineo and it had worked wonders.

Years later, that incident would continue to play out in Muckraker’s head. Even when she grew breasts and moved to Maseru she wondered how Lineo would have responded to win the fight.

She pondered what she would say if some moron pulled the prostitute insult from his perverted mind.
Then a few months ago, Muckraker met the boy who had knocked out Lineo.
He proudly gloated that he was now a politician in one of the congress parties.

Muckraker instantly realised that the gods had been just. They had meticulously led this man to a career as a politician, something worse than being a prostitute.

The man was being punished for calling Lineo’s mum a prostitute. As a politician he was engaged in the real art of whoring, hooking and fornicating.
It was not his brothers, sisters, or uncles engaged in harlotry but himself. So the gods had equalized on Lineo’s behalf. Here he was: a bearded harlot. Indeed, there is no doubt that our politicians are the real whores.

The evidence is overflowing in parliament and political parties.
Forget their screams about principles. Heed not their calls for integrity.
Ask them why they have jumped into bed with people they despise and they will tell you that there are no permanent friends but permanent interests in politics.

They say that to insulate their conscience from the plight of having to change like the weather and kiss their nemeses. It allows them to partake in political adultery without worrying about accusations of hypocrisy and duplicity.

At least prostitutes do not believe that they are doing a noble job. They don’t claim to be trying to save the world. They have never pretended that they are the people’s servants. They know that they are doing a wretched job.
The same cannot be said for politicians.

Muckraker thought of Lineo when she heard that Motlohi Maliehe was back in the cabinet. It is an astounding about-turn. A stunning act of political adultery.

Many will recall how Maliehe huffed and puffed as he spewed bile on Uncle Tom and the Feselady. He said the Feselady had shoved Uncle Tom in her zipped pocket.

He accused the Feselady of corruption, instigating divisions in the ABC and poking her fingers in the government affairs. When Uncle Tom yanked him out of cabinet he lashed out.

“When I spoke about his wife he told the media that I had already fired myself. I knew I was on my way out,” he said as he licked his wounds.
He had talked his way to unemployment.

“But even before that, he was no longer talking to me. And when I called he would not answer and when I sent messages he would not respond.”
“They would have party meetings without me even though I am the chairman. I am a minister but they would have cabinet meetings, especially at the State House, without my knowledge.”

When asked if he regrets the actions of his mouth, Maliehe put on a brave face. “I have no regrets whatsoever. I would say the same thing and I will say it again if the circumstances dictate,” he said.

He was fooling no one because even goats in Butha-Buthe could feel the pain in his voice. As he drove back home from Maseru the pigs were rolling with laughter.
A few months later, Maliehe is back in cabinet but nothing much has changed. The Feselady is still around.  Uncle Tom is still in charge and happily married to his sweetheart.

Corruption is laying eggs in government corridors and tenders are still being rigged with zest. The ABC is still split because of the same things he was moaning about some months ago.

Government projects that he said were stalled because of Uncle Tom’s mismanagement remain in limbo. The only thing that has changed is that Maliehe is no longer one of the hundreds of thousands who are unemployed.
A few months ago, he was fuming about Uncle Tom but now he is taking instructions from the same man. Henceforth he will have to defend Uncle Tom’s policies and actions.

He will have to instantly forget his insults against the Feselady.
You have to marvel at such duplicity. Muckraker knows that Maliehe is likely to privately whisper that it is Uncle Tom who begged him to come back. But he can only tell that to the naïve.

And even if Uncle Tom called him first it is clear that he didn’t need much persuasion. For months he has had his fingers crossed, hoping Uncle Tom would call.

It’s possible that he consulted prophets and sangomas to get him back in Uncle Tom’s good graces. There those too clever by half chaps claim that Uncle Tom reached out to Maliehe because he is under pressure from Mahao and his camp. They may be right, but Muckraker thinks Uncle Tom doesn’t need Maliehe to survive.

It’s not as if Maliehe has truckloads of supporters. There is no evidence that Maliehe has any special talents and skills. What is clear is that the whoring continues. Maliehe can take comfort in the fact that he is not alone. He is neither the first nor the last.

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