The mokulubete boys and girls

The mokulubete boys and girls

THE next ground-breaking study in Lesotho should investigate why decent men and women transform into idiots when they become ministers.

It’s as if they deposit their brains into a huge bin before getting into cabinet.
Smart people suddenly become dunderheads. The honest become pathological liars. The decent turn into arrogant morons.

And nearly all of them develop some nauseating mannerisms that make them look doubly foolish. Suddenly they want someone to open doors for them.
They can’t carry their own bags. They now have a pompous spring in the step.

They pretend to forget names of their classmates.
But it is the spectacle that happens when they are in a supermarket that tickles Muckraker. Last week Muckraker watched one minister walking in a supermarket with his bodyguards and aides. His hands were stuck in his pockets as the aide pushed the trolley. All he did was point at the things he wanted the aide to pick.

It was such a sad sight watching a man with an oversized suit pretending to have suddenly lost the ability to pick his own bananas and phoofo.
The aide dutifully obeyed the orders because he honestly thought pushing the trolley and picking groceries was part of his job.

It is weird that men and women who would haggle over the price of moroho with nkhono in the bus stop area are now behaving like kings.
Watching the drama, Muckraker could not help but notice the irony of it all.
Those with money and real power have no time to shop for tomatoes in Shoprite.

They simply send their maid to do the shopping.
So why do our ministers partake in such mundane activities like shopping for bread.

Well, the first reason is that they want to show us that they have arrived.
The second is that they fear that their aides will pinch their change.
Third, they really have nothing useful to do with their time. A minister is one of the most underemployed, overpaid and overrated civil servant.

Yet we should not be overly disgusted because such pretence will soon come to an abrupt end. In a few months these men and women will come back to Mother Earth. The poverty that comes with falling from power will drag then back to their senses, kicking and screaming.
They will soon be common Basotho men and women.

We will meet in the streets and shops. Together we will be checking the expiry dates of rice and milk at Chinese shops. We will all share the Mokhorotlo FOOT number plate. Power, as they say, is temporary. You can only rent it while waiting for the next tenant. The countdown has begun. Tiktoktiktok….

The transformation that happens when a politician becomes a minister is breath-taking. Men and women who were jostling for makoenya and chips at Monathi Café suddenly claim that such national delicacies give them a running tummy.

Those who grew up gulping mokulubete in Qaqatu wells walk around with bottled water. You can see from the way they sip from the bottle that this is something new to them.
They are used to kneeling on the banks of Senqu River imbibing the cloudy waters like cows. Little wonder that most of them are hopelessly incompetent.

The mind is traumatised by the sudden change in diet, manners and environment. At some point it shuts down and stops working.
Their bodies are shocked by the dramatic change in nutrition. It takes years for a body fed on hopose for 50 years to adjust to wine and whiskey.
A body used to sekopo needs time to adapt to bacon. The same applies when it changes from papa to avocado. It takes time to acquire and appreciate the taste of cheese. The transition from motoho to Ceres is not easy.

Sometimes the body is so shocked that it expands uncontrollably.
That, dear reader, is how ministers get from size 32 to 44 in weeks.
Some will take to the gym when their bodies start overwhelming them. You see them huffing and puffing on the treadmills while their bodyguards and aides mill around.

You want to laugh but then you realise that this is serious business. This is a man under pressure. You will be watching a man who forgot that food is not his friend.
A man whose body has been abused by food. A man burdened by the results of his gluttony.

All this is to say that being a minister comes with perks and a pack.
The perks are the good salary, allowances and a gang of aides.
The pack, of course, is the overflowing tummy.
And that all explains why nothing much happens in cabinet. Imagine where this country would be if all those in cabinet would work as hard as they did back in the villages.

This country would benefit immensely from a combination of little food and hard work. This recipe of too much food and little work is dangerous to the country. Luckily, the country doesn’t suffer alone. The ministers too will feel the impact of being indolent while chawing copious amounts of food. Fair and square!

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

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