HOORAY! Jeremane Ramathebane, leader of the Basotho Batho Democratic Party (BBDP), a silly excuse of a party, has finally found his voice in the Senate.
Perhaps tired of snoring during Senate sessions, Ramathebane decided it was time to say a few words. What had irked him was the Audit Bill 2016 which he said was side-lining “uneducated” party supporters.
He wanted illiterate party supporters to be considered for the Auditor General’s position.
“It is unfair for party loyalists to be side-lined in favour of the educated ones when the time to hire people comes,” he said.
“I would give this job of Auditor General to the ones who follow the party and not the educated ones”.
Those words should have shocked even the mouth that uttered them.
But this is Ramathebane’s mouth were are talking about and nothing shocks it because it is well covered by a big beard.
Ramathebane should think about hiring a barber for his beard before talking about the appointment of an Auditor General.
The man should just cut that beard before it drives him nuts.
And it doesn’t matter what he will use to cut it because the idea is to just trim it down before it contaminates his brain. He might as well use a knife.
And since he has no respect for qualifications Muckraker would like to suggest a welder to sort out his beard.
Or better still, he can hire one of his 10 party supporters to remind him to cut his beard. That is the real ‘Auditor General’ he needs.
My oh my! Trade Minister Joshua Setipa sure knows how to sabotage a roaring party. After a year of keeping his mouth firmly shut Setipa has created a firestorm out of nothing.
We now know that while his mouth was zipped Setipa’s mind was cooking up a nasty plan to take us back to the time of horses, bicycles and scotch carts.
He wants to ban Basotho from importing second-hand (third-hand, fourth hand, etc) cars from Asia. His beef with hand-me-down cars from Basotho’s favourite market is that they are just ramshackle of jalopies causingcarnages on our roads.
His understanding, as he explained at a press conference last week, is that the cars are not roadworthy. Asian countries are picking “expired” vehicles from their dumpsites and flogging them to us at ridiculous prices like US$900, he opined.
The vehicles are killing Basotho, he ventured on with the same confidence Size Two had during the 2012 election before the people forced a humble pie down his throat.
Before chipping away at Josh’s already limping idea Muckraker would like to declare that she is an interested party in this business of fifth–hand sekorokoros.
Were it now for the first ricketycar some Japanese fellow threw her way for a sorry price of US$300 Muckraker would have been pounding the streets of Maseru aboard a MokhorothloF-O-O-T.
You need a mixture of desperation and sheer strength to withstand a seven-hour ride on a chicken bus to Mafube.
So anyone who interferes with her access to another dotcom hand-me-down should be spanked. There can be no doubt Muckraker is not alone on this one.
As she writes this there are people cursing the very ground on which Josh walks. And that suits him right. The man isup to some monkeyshines.
He is up to some elitist high-jinks. Muckraker knows that being a seasoned diplomat,Setipa will try to use technicalities to explain himself out of trouble when people start pelting him with insults.
He will say he is not banning dot-coms altogether but wants those that find their way to the Kingdom to be roadworthy. This is not an entirely mischievous argument if you dissect it slowly.
He is saying all cars imported must be certified fit for our roads. No qualms with that. In fact that is a smart idea.
The problem however starts when you unpack the reasoning behind his policy decision. He says the imported vehicles are causing accidents. And this is where Muckraker says: Hold your horses right there, Josh!
It’s an appalling argument based on speculation. Its sounds more like bar talk than anything. There is scant evidence to support the assertion that dotcom vehicles are causing accidents.
You cannot use sucha lame argument to sustain a policy decision that should be based on scientific evidence. Setipa should bring a scientific study to support it. Anything short of that is just tomfoolery.
Even if we assume that most of the accidents involve dotcoms Josh still has to prove that it’s because the cars are in bad state. Methinks dotcoms are involved in most of the accidents because they happen to dominate our roads.That’s inevitable, given that about seven in every ten cars on our roads are dotcoms (I pulled that figure out of nowhere but you get the picture).
Muckraker can afford to thumb-suck explanations because she is not suggesting a policy shift. The same cannot be said for Josh, who is a government minister whose policy suggestions are supposed to be based on facts.
It could be that the dotcoms have allowed every Khotso, Thabo and Tsepo on our road before they understand what the colours on a traffic light means.
Lesotho is the only country where people buy both the driving licence and the car. Some buy cars before they buy the licence.
Setipa should ask his colleagues to deal with the scandal of people buying licences like they are buying a mug of hopose.
His policy suggestion is a classic example of how the government tries a parcel out blame for problems it can solve. The vehicle fitness centre in Ha-Foso, on which the government spent millions, is unleashing limping cars on our roads.
Police officers whose job is to remove sekorokorosfrom our roadsare busy stuffing their pockets with bribes.
There is another reason for Muckraker’s disgust at Josh’s suggestion. You see, the man is targeting the wrong things.
The real problem that needs his urgent attention is right under his nose. Josh is battling to get his PS Majakhatata Mokoena to toe the line.So far Majakhatata has refused to say: “Yes Sir”.
That’s because Majakhatata has covered his behind with a cardboard box. So every time Josh unleashes his sjambok Majakatata is laughing his head off, wondering why Boss Josh is wasting his time.
Josh’s head is now spinning as he scrambles around for new ways to sort out the slipperyMajakhatatawho is not afraid to snare when cornered.
When he fired him from the LNDC board Majakhatata laughed so hard that rats in Thaba-Tseka were startled.
He just told Josh that he was out of order and should behave himself. Not in those words but something closer to that.
Instead of mopping Majakhatata simply declared that he is still in charge, leaving Josh flabbergasted. Josh cannot speak to Majakhatata like a disappointing Grade 4 student.Majakhatata has an opinion about almost everything.You can ask him how termites mate and he will scratch his head a bit and say: “Eh, fundamentally and holistically speaking termites are …”
He keeps his American accent at hand just in case someone wants to scare him.
Muckraker suspects Josh has been hit by the American accent and has run out of tricks with which to pin down Majakhatata. That explains why he is coming up with such policies.
It could also be the reason why he wants to implement the policy at a hectic pace. He said people had until end of July to sort out their dotcom issues. That is a one-month notice to implement a policy made on the hoof.
It will be unfair for Muckraker to close this Josh-hates-dotcoms chapter without saying a word about some petty bourgeois columnist who thought he could appoint himself a cheerleader for Josh. He was clearly trying to curry favour with Josh, especially after calling him gutter names last year.
Perhaps after realising the idiocy of his ways the columnist wanted to score some points with Josh.
It turns out he chose the wrong argument to support. And he used the wrong logic to support an argument. He said importing dotcomshas killed innovation in Lesotho. Muckraker can only say: Mmmmmmmmm, the columnist has been smoking funny herbs again.
You see, almost everything in this country is imported, from cabbages to condoms. The argument that banning second-hand vehicles will trigger some creative solutions is as dead as a dodo.
It’s a pedestrian solution to a complex problem. Thank God such dimwits don’t have a say in government policy.
The not so noble Ashraf
English has never been our mother. It abandons us in times of trouble, especially when cornered. The best time to judge a person’s eloquence in English is when they are in distress. Walim Ashraf, the man accused of stealing M7.4 million, lost his English bundles last week when he was caught in a blue lie.
His bail hearing was going well until a DCEO investigator told the prosecutor that he was emitting lies with a straight face. He had told the court that his three children and wife were in South Africa. He even added that children were schooling in South Africa. That sounded plausible and the court appeared to have taken his word for it until the prosecutor announced that his wife and three children were in fact in India. Bingo!
Caught in the lie, Ashraf mumbled an apology before telling the court that “it was a slip of the tongue”.
In other words, his tongue has slipped and called South Africa India.
At that moment, Ashraf believed that claiming that your family is in South Africa when they are in India is a “slip of the tongue”.
The phrase he was looking for is: “I am a pathetic liar”. A slip of the tongue is a minor mistake in speech, not a fictitious relocation of your family from India to South Africa. Muckraker will not pass judgement on his charges.
Suffice to say Ashraf is an Arabic name meaning ‘most honourable one’ or ‘very noble’. Tongues that claim to have slipped when they are lying are not so noble.
Its squeaky bum time
Uncle Sam and his leadership should not be surprised that the opposition is now grabbing them by the collar. They played into the government’s hands by making hasty and emotional decisions.
The suspension of the three MPs has now triggered a backlash that might topple the government.
The opposition is smelling blood and getting ready to pounce.
Even if Uncle Sam’s government survives the next storm, the opposition will keep coming. They are possessed by the spirit of destruction.
The next few years will be tsunami after tsunami.
Nothing motivates a politician more than the prospect of finishing off a wounded opponent.
Muckraker is tempted to say the RFP still has a chance to regroup and fight from one corner but that would be false. The trust has been broken and the wounds are too deep.
Those who have been suspended want revenge. Mediation is a waste of time. Nothing is ever forgiven and forgotten in politics.
Muckraker’s humble advice to Uncle Sam and his people is that they should stock up on painkillers because there are more pounding headaches on the way.
Keep some pills at home, office, office toilet, back pocket, handbag, wallet and even bra.
Mapesela will not rest until he is back in government and proudly messing up things.
He is beating war drums.
Uncle Sam and his people had better learn to play dirty because this is a rough game. Bones will be broken and bodies bruised.
Spare a prayer for Uncle Sam as he walks on the glowing coals that is Lesotho’s politics. Call your prophets, fake and real, because the demons of Lesotho’s politics are at the gates.
Bring both fire and water because these are not Mickey Mouse demons. Leave the pigs out of this one, I beg. We still need fariki after exorcising the evil spirits. As usual, you need the powers of a potent wizard to decipher why the opposition is gathering wood for a pyre to burn both the government and its leader. That it’s such a hotchpotch betrays the fact that the reasons are contrived rather than real.
Even if they are real, none of them justifies toppling a government so soon.
And none of the opposition leaders could claim, without the usual dose of embellishment, that the so-called ‘reasons’ have come from the people. There is no scale to weigh the people’s disgust at Uncle Sam and his people.
There is no reason to pretend that those plotting to whip Uncle Sam out of office are doing it for the people who voted less than a year ago. This is just another group of excitable and power-mongering zealots cooking up reasons to justify their attempt to instigate a power grab.
You hear from their flawed logic when they exuberantly claim that it is their right to bring a no-confidence vote against the government.
They pull out that trump card even when no one has accused them of any criminality. They do it to sanitise and deodorise their brazen usurpation of the people’s power.
It’s their way of justifying why a group of less than 50 people who lost an election now has both the power and the nerve to topple a government supported by thousands of Basotho. Oops, that’s a lie. This a decision of less than 10 political leaders who are now shopping around for other MPs to support their decision.
Yes, toppling a government in parliament is not illegal. Yes, the opposition can do it. But the pertinent question is whether this is what Basotho want and it’s good for Lesotho.
Who has told the politicians that this is what the people want? Who did they consult, when and how?
Yes, Uncle Sam is fumbling and dithering. Yes, some of his ministers behave like rabbits caught in headlights on the Main North 1 Road. True, some of the appointments stink of nepotism.
But all these are nothing new or outrageous. We have seen worse from the very people now screaming their lungs out. It’s not as if the opposition now has a low tolerance for tosh.
After all, they are the very masters of tosh. This is not about service delivery or some transgressions.
This is about power and resources. Not power to serve Basotho. Not resources to share with Basotho. It is about the power to shove in their armpits while they munch the resources. That is why they keep telling us what Uncle Sam has done wrong instead of saying why they think they will do better.
They are not saying they will screw us softly this time around. No promise to go easy on the looting. Nothing about limiting the number of rats in the granary. They don’t even have the decency to promise to move from F to E.
As far as they are concerned, we just have to stand by and watch while they kick out Uncle Sam and then cheer as they march back to do more of the same. This is the contempt they have for the people. We elect governments that MPs have the power to topple willy-nilly while claiming to be acting on our behalf. We have been screwed before but these are rough riders. Phew!
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