ONE of the many reasons why this country is in such a mess is its over-reliance on donations.
We are a country notorious for perambulating the globe with a begging bowl in hand.
The result is a country teeming with indolent people who think someone is always going come to their rescue. The government is the leading beggar and is not ashamed of it.
Because we are beggars we never get to decide what we are given. We take that which has been tossed our way. The problem however is that some of the donations are becoming extremely expensive.
You see, donors don’t want to privately give you things. Rather, they want the world to know that they have fed you. That way they portray themselves as benevolent masters and you as a thankful beneficiary.
The receiver is also not allowed to just receive the goodies and shut up. They must advertise their gratitude so that the giver keeps giving. That is why there has to be a special event to celebrate the handover.
What makes the donations expensive is that the minister and his entourage have to be transported to the venue. Government officials too have to leave their desks to attend the useless junkets. Copious amounts of food are consumed in the name of celebrating the donations.
Then there are the tents and chairs for the dignitaries. TV Lesotho, that pitiful excuse of a national broadcaster, will be on hand to beam the “news” to the masses.
The modus operandi is the same even when some embassy is handing over three computers or a couple of benches to a rural school. It happens even when the donor is handing over cartridges to a ministry.
Yet the biggest cost is not the money used for such shindigs.
The real cost is our dignity as a country. It is such a sorry sight watching whole ministers grovelling to ambassadors and country directors. They will wax lyrical about warm relations as if that is anything special in a world that is largely peaceful.
Then they will unleash some depressing statistics about Lesotho’s poverty as if that is some badge of honour to crow about. Our ministers have mastered the art of bootlicking. Spare a thought for their tongues.
One morning they are licking some political bum to keep their job and the next day their tongue is stuck in some ambassador’s nether regions.
Hence Muckraker has always warned women about the dangers of dating politicians: you never know whose bum you are kissing when you kiss their mouth. You could be indirectly licking a Chinese or American behind.
Because we are always in awe of donors we are obliged to listen to the unmitigated tosh coming from their surrogates called NGOs.
Government officials know they have to play ball with the NGOs if they want them to put in a good word to the donors. It doesn’t matter that most of those in NGOs are dimwits who will never be allowed anywhere near a corporate’s gate.
Not that corporates are overflowing with clever people. It’s just that NGOs never produce anything apart from reports and some half-baked ideas they paddle for funding. They think opinion is more important than thought.
For evidence of this look no further than the statement issued by some three organisations condemning Mining Minister Keketso Sello.
The issue was about the Minister’s private secretary, Refiloe Mokone, who was allegedly caught smuggling diamonds in South Africa.
It is not clear why the Transformation Resource Centre (TRC), Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) and the Policy Analysis and Research Institute of Lesotho (PARIL) thought it prudent to wade into the matter.
What matters is that they dived in head first.
Muckraker would have ignored the statement had the organisations restricted themselves to condemning the minister for being incompetent and that he was possibly culpable.
But then the organisations ventured to proffer unsolicited advice on human resource management, a matter obviously far removed from their proficiency.
They might have been right when they called on the Minister to resign.
It is however the organisations’ reason for that recommendation that left Muckraker stunned.
“Even if the Minister is not directly implicated in the smuggling of diamonds by his Private Secretary it is important to note that he is the one who recruited the now suspected diamond smuggler to the Ministry in the first place,” the statement said.
“Such a blunder does not give us comfort that the Minister will not commit similar errors in executing his mandate of being a custodian of resource governance in Lesotho.”
The reasoning here is skewed whether you are in a boardroom, church, bar or crouching in a VIP.
You don’t quit your job because your recruit turned out to be a lying or thieving bastard.
If that was the case this country would not have a commissioner of police because half of his officers have turned out to be rascals taking bribes with gusto.
We can say the same for the Prime Minister who hired corrupt and lazy ministers. Should he go too?
How about the human resource managers in companies and the civil service? Should they resign because they did not have the prophetic powers to predict that they were employing a thief of money?
The world doesn’t work that way and there is nothing to be gained from pretending that it does.
Maybe they could have argued that Minister Sello must resign because diamonds are being illegally traded by officials in his office under his watch. He has thus failed to protect our diamonds.
There is also the perception that the arrested person is too close to the minister which creates the impression that he was probably in on the scandal. That is how the world works.
Those fuming at Justice Mosito’s judgement nullifying the sale of MKM properties are lazy readers. Had they read his judgement to the end they would have seen that Justice Mosito is not the enemy.
It is the evidence that compelled him to reach that decision. The MKM debacle is a result of a highly dubious judgement by Justice Molete.
It is Justice Molete’s legal reasoning that has been torn to shreds. Muckraker cannot say she is overly surprised by Justice Mosito’s precision in roasting Justice Molete.
Many of his judgements in the commercial court have been turned up-side-down in the Court of Appeal.
But never before has the apex court’s judgement been more stinging on him. In other jurisdictions Justice Molete would have been hiding in gutters at the Palace of Justice to avoid further embarrassment.
In a nutshell, Justice Mosito was saying Justice Molete granted an order that was never requested. No one asked him to order that the liquidators can proceed with the sale of MKM properties.
In other words, he took it upon himself to decide on a matter that was not presented before him.
Muckraker is not saying Justice Molete was high on something illegal when he made that decision.
But no judge of sober mind would grant an order that has not been requested. Not even a rookie lawyer would have come up with such a stinker of a judgement.
They don’t even warn you against such excitable behaviour in law school because they assume its common-sense.
The lesson is found in Grade 4: don’t go off topic.
In law school they tell you that litigants should stand or fall on the basis of their court papers. Yet Justice Molete decided it was prudent to manufacture an order in his head and then grant it.
By so doing he pretended that he was serving justice. Justice Mosito’s judgement insinuates that Justice Molete was biased. He couched the accusation in palatable syntax because he was talking about a colleague.
Muckraker is not constrained by such relational tosh so she will tell you with a straight face that Justice Molete’s judgement was not only unfair but also highly mischievous.
Justice Molete’s judgement is the reason the whole bench is a laughing stock. Thanks to his inane judgement, the courts are going to be seized with the MKM chaos for the foreseeable eons.
You can however be sure that even after being clobbered for bias Justice Molete is not going to bow out.
He will stick around while pretending to be a diligent jurist. That’s because he knows that we are a country that bumjives at the sight of mediocrity.
We measure our public officials according to a malfunctioning scale of integrity, competence and diligence. Muckraker hopes the judge sleeps at night. Snooze peacefully Justice! The world is not looking.
Let them take korobela
Nqosa Mahao has pulled a fast one on his opposition comrades to join Uncle Sam’s government. Muckraker suspected the bromance among the opposition leaders would end in tears but never expected Mahao to do the betraying. The lesson is that there is no honour among politicians and everyone has a price. The BAP’s price is two cabinet seats and some morsels to be flung its way here and there.
The opposition is furious at Mahao for stringing them along for three weeks while Uncle Sam whispered sweet little things in his ears.
They say Mahao attended their nocturnal meetings to plot Uncle Sam’s demise but was busy with a plan to get himself a mok’huk’hu in the government.
Their screams of anger are hypocritical. They too would have been charmed for the right price. Mahao just happened to have yielded earlier than them. None of them can claim that they were not approached by the RFP or its dealmakers.
No one could claim that they refused the RFP’s marriage proposal because they differed on ideology and principle. The only sticking issue was what was offered and what they thought their support was worthy. So let’s bin the hypocrisy and confirm that some of them overreached and overestimated their value by holding out for more spoils. It’s not their business if Mahao sold himself too cheap.
He was smart enough to understand that the market of political support was already flooded. That is being pragmatic.
In the end, it was a simple matter of demand and supply. Uncle Sam played the game well by lodging a scarecrow of a court case to delay the vote of no confidence to buy himself time. That blindsided the opposition leaders and allowed Uncle Sam to counterattack.
So while Lehata was laughing like a hyena in parliament and the opposition congregated at the BNP Centre for drinks Uncle Sam was cooking some delicious dish across town. It was only a matter of time before the aroma reached the politicians’ noses.
So while they were claiming to be united most of them were busy receiving calls to hear what was on the menu. It was a buffet of embassies and cabinet seats. The desserts were deputy minister positions and some small jobs for hungry supporters. The only problem with some of the opposition leaders was that they wanted to eat the whole buffet, including Uncle Sam’s portion.
Meanwhile, Uncle Sam was busy gauging what was enough to satiate the hungriest among the opposition leaders. In the end, he knew he didn’t have to part with much to get the deal and the numbers he wanted. Some politicians are saying Mahao could have asked for more because Uncle Sam was desperate and cornered. Not true!
Your tomatoes do not cost more simply because you worked hard to produce them or you think they are special. It’s the market that decides.
To get more for them you should get the timing right. The same applies to political support. Uncle Sam knew the market of political support would be oversupplied if he waited a few days before buying.
By the time he came to the market the available political support was about to rot and everyone was willing to sell at a huge discount. This is common sense but some opposition leaders want to pretend Mahao ambushed them by selling fast.
Muckraker suggests that next time they plot against Uncle Sam, the opposition leaders should visit a sangoma to give them all a huge dose of korobela so that none is tempted to find another lover. The best love portion comes from the North of us. Mwa, mwa, mwa!
How to share a stolen goat
Those who think Uncle Sam is now safe from the barbarians at the gates are naïve. Mahao’s defection is a temporary setback from which the opposition leaders are plotting to recover.
They are coming because Uncle Sam is holding something they cannot live without: power.
And they will not rest until they get it. Those who believe this fight is based on principle and ideology are unmitigated dimwits. Their claim that Uncle Sam’s government has failed is just a cover to justify their plot. They know they would not do a better job.
Everyone knows that because they have seen their epic bungling when they had a chance to rule.
The notoriety of their thievery, corruption, deliberate mismanagement and nepotism precedes them. They say Uncle Sam has failed to implement his party’s campaign promises but forget that some of them failed several times. If this was about ideology and principle it would reflect in the negotiations for coalitions. In countries where politicians still have morsels of self-respect and specks of shame, such negotiations would be dominated by ideological and policy considerations.
Political parties try to find some common ground on fundamental issues like the economy, education, climate change, trade and foreign policy.
Our rascals here talk about ministerial and diplomatic positions as if they are sharing a stolen goat; I want the head, give me likahare.
My ancestors said I should always eat the testicles. Give me the liver, I don’t have teeth. The heart is my favourite. In a way, our government is like a stolen goat being shared by thieves. Ba ja maleo.
It’s a fat goat stolen from Basotho. The politicians will eat it and not leave even the skin for Basotho to make a mat to lay on when hungry. The thieves are eating while the people watch.
Yet we people never tire to give the politicians the permission to rob and pee on them.
It’s tempting to say we deserve it but no one, not even the Devil, deserves the politicians we have in this country. Some say there is hell somewhere. Muckraker says we are already in a hell of some sort created by our politicians. We are being roasted slowly by politicians and they will never stop.
Does that make you feel depressed and hopeless? Well, you are not alone. There are worse places on this earth. Does that mean we should accept tosh because there is worse tosh in other places?
Well, it’s your choice.
Muckraker wishes you a wet weekend. Let’s hope Uncle Sam throws us a party to celebrate his great escape. You marched for him, didn’t you?
A beer is what you deserve for sweating from Maseru Mall to parliament.
Give Lehata a Bell’s
Mootsi Lehata behaved like a clown in parliament last week. Laughing like he was in a shebeen. Spewing insults as if someone had stolen his goats. He even used the ‘F’ word on Lejone Mpotjoane.
“Moshanyana enoa a se ke a ntella. Se ke oa ntella sonny, f**k you,” he said in response to Mpotjoane. Muckraker doesn’t know Mpotjoane to be a moshanyana. What she knows is what Lehata did to a ngoanana a few years ago.
The girl dropped the rape case on the condition that Lehata builds her a house and pays for the child’s upkeep. So ke eena ea tellang molao. Some might say it’s water under the bridge but Muckraker doesn’t forgive. Never!
For now, we should talk about his monkeyshines in parliament. He looked high on something. Lehata can however deny it. He can say he was shaking because he had spent sleepless nights plotting to topple Uncle Sam. He can claim he was shaking with excitement at the prospect of becoming a minister again. If that doesn’t cut it he can say wasn’t drunk but just suffering from a hangover.
That might work because he could say those who say he was drunk on that Monday should have seen him on Sunday. He could claim he was still suffering the effects of knocking down several bottles taller than him.
But whatever happens, no one can prove that he was high.
Yes, a test could have revealed that he had blood in his alcohol but that is now beside the point because it didn’t happen. In any case, Muckraker has seen worse things in parliament. Remember how some MPs spanked each other a few years ago?
Chairs and bins were given wings. An MP was once captured on camera groping another.
As for insults, worse things have been said. Some of the MPs don’t need to be insulted to feel humiliated. Imagine how it feels to be an LCD MP.
You see it in their faces that they are beating themselves.
No wonder they are not even mentioned as part of the opposition. They are not in opposition, not government and not in the crossbench. They are there, somewhere there.
Muckraker would not sleep well if she ended these musings without mentioning one small thing. During the debate on Lehata’s tomfoolery, one opposition MP said the Speaker should protect MPs so that their images are not manipulated to tarnish their reputation. Yeah, right!
You must have a reputation first for it to be tarnished. Muckraker and 98.9 percent of Basotho know 99 percent of our MPs to be freeloading, greedy and power-hungry charlatans.
That is their reputation. Those who say our MPs are honest and hardworking are tarnishing that sterling reputation.
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