The crying ministers

The crying ministers

THE Coronavirus is on our shores but the government is telling us to keep calm.
This is despite screaming evidence that it lacks the capacity to deal with the Coronavirus when it slithers through our borders. Now listen carefully.
You should always know that the government speaks in tongues. When it says keep calm you have to run. When it announces that it has some financial challenges the reality is that it is dead broke.

Never trust anyone who calls a problem a ‘challenge’.
And when they say there is a problem they mean it’s a disaster.
If the government says everything is under control it means it is already running like a headless chicken.
When it says there are ten suspected cases of infection the actual number might run into hundreds.

The government lies for a living and fun. Blue lies are its oxygen.
This is not fear-mongering but a friendly warning from Aunty Muckraker.
The government is not your mother. Educate yourself, family and friends about the virus because you are on your own. You have to be a fool to believe that a government that cannot arrest cattle thieves will catch a virus before it gets into the country. A government that cannot protect its own money from crooks should not be trusted to protect its people from a virus.

Remember these words when you see another shabby statement from the government.
They have no clue about the virus and they are just making up things as they go.
Their reaction is based on ignorance. Not a single nurse knows how to deal with a suspected case of the Coronavirus.
This is the same government that bungled a simple simulation exercise on Ebola.
They pretended that Lesotho had a case of Ebola and then dismally failed to pretend to be dealing with a fake case.

In other words they failed a fake test they had set.
The result was pandemonium at the hospital.
Now imagine the same government dealing with a real case of the Coronavirus.
The point here is that you are on your own.

But we should be grateful that there is a silver lining in this crisis.
For the first time the government has banned all international trips.
Now that is refreshing news.

For once the ministers and senior government officials will keep their bums on their cosy chairs. Muckraker estimates that Lesotho will save more than M200 million by cancelling all international trips.
Officials from the Ministry of Finance who process their requests for international trips can rest for a while.

Their fingers were getting sore from counting vouchers for per diems and air tickets.
What however tickled Muckraker was the government’s attempt to portray the cancellation of international trips as a precautionary measure made after some serious discussion. Nothing can be further from the truth.
The reality is that there is nowhere to travel because nearly all conferences and workshops have been cancelled. So even if they want to keep globetrotting there is nowhere to go. Countries don’t want visitors.

Our ministers have been told to stay home with their people.
The trouble now is that we have to find ways to help our ministers cope with the stress and pain of not travelling. Muckraker hears that some of them are inconsolable. They have been mourning their per diems and First Class tickets since the crisis started.
Some are facing financial ruin, having over-borrowed on the promise that they would repay when they come back from their foreign trips. Now that the Coronavirus has swallowed their per diems they are panicking.

The government should now be hiring psychologists to help the ministers who are grieving for their trips.
Psychiatrists should be on call for those who cannot deal with the trauma.
The same service should be available to their nyatsis who now have to live within their means.
Daddy is broke sisters! Eat makoenya until this coronavirus is under control.

Elders in the village have a way of gently weeding slow minds out of serious debates.
They give them mundane chores like skinning goats and buying beer.
That way, they have time to ponder serious family issues without silly interjections from blabbermouths and dimwits.
Journalists should do the same with rabble-rousers who insist on diving into serious national debates beyond their intellectual capacity.

But because we live in era of sound bites thought plays second fiddle to screams.
That is why Muckraker was not shocked when Thabo Thakalekoala, Uncle Tom’s senior private secretary, got acres of space in a local newspaper to bash foreign editors he accused of distorting the Lesotho story.

Once a recorder was thrust on his mouth, Thakalekoala found a generator to connect his mouth.
He however forgot to connect his brains to the mouth.
The result was a mind minding its own business while the mouth ran amok.
More like the mouth was on a chicken bus to Thaba-Tseka while the brain was enjoying at a Motimoposo shebeen. A sophisticated debate about media ownership and control spiralled into a xenophobic rant.

His recommendation was to do away with all foreign editors.
Thakalekoala forgets that he is a 58-year-old journalist who has never been an editor in his life.
His highest position was “seasoned journalist”, a cliché concocted by brownnosing journalists who thrive on the nauseating ‘he-said-she-said’ type of stories.

Muckraker wonders where Thakalekoala was when other journalists were starting their own newspapers and media companies.
No other media company, apart from MoAfrika, was started by people older than Thakalekoala.
People who were in diapers when he was already running around with notebooks have become editors and publishers while he is still a “secretary”. All he has been at 58 is a radio presenter, reporter and senior private secretary to the prime minister.

And his claim to fame is some stories based on the ombudsman’s report. Phew!
Yet he wants to lecture us about media ownership and reportage.
And what does a senior private secretary do anyway?

Muckraker is always sceptical of any title that has “senior” in it. That “senior” means nothing in terms of responsibility. Ideally, it is given to people who have overstayed on one job and are desperately due for a promotion but there is nowhere to rise.
Nyoe, nyoe, nyoe he is a “seasoned journalist”. Holy dung! Which newspaper did he edit? And what story did he write? Young journalists should find proper role models not some mediocre scribes who veered into politics because they could not allow basic ethics to keep them in check.

Secretaries too should be wary of journalists who budge into their profession. This is the same man who wrote a speech that Uncle Tom forgot to read during his trip to Kenya. Some speeches are just not worth reading.
Muckraker was about to close the newspaper when she saw another long and winding article showering praises on Thakalekoala.
What stole the cake was Thakalekoala’s declaration that he has ambition to be Lesotho’s prime minister. Kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. It’s your choice to cry or laugh. Muckraker just wants a hankie.
In the meantime she just wants to know if the journalist interviewing him did not have a swollen face after being hit by just solid tosh.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

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