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EITHER we are just a forgetful lot or we just choose to ignore the obvious. Our politicians have once again left us high and dry. For weeks they dangled the promise of a political solution and we believed them with naivety of a village bumpkin who has just come to the city.

Like toddlers in a candy shop we jumped for joy, our hearts racing with anticipation. As ridiculous as it may sound our politicians actually needed to cross a border to find a place to discuss a local problem with local colleagues. Mooderpoort!Holy dung!

Give it to our politicians for their creepy talent to conjure up devious ways just to breathe foreign air. For six hours they sat in that farming town, surrounded by people whose forefathers made it their life-long vocation to wipe Lesotho off the face of the earth. Ping-Pong is a game they played on national matters. And when done they told us they were still talking about talks. In Maseru we were glued to our Hire-purchase TVs hoping for some breaking news about the talks. By night we were informed only of the talks taking place in foreign land.

Details of what really happened came from the grapevine and some sound bites from those privileged enough to have been part of six-hour time wasting jamboree.

Still we hoped this was the beginning of something miraculously. The mere fact that they had met was therapeutic enough. Weeks later they met again. Then last week they reached the inevitable conclusion: nada!Boom, the talks had ended in spectacular disaster. The hours of chitchatting had come to nix. Work done equals zero. In the streets we cursed, huffed and puffed.  We forgot this was neither a first northe last.


Boloney is our staple food. Politicians are its farmers.It is what they will incessantly feed us until we muster the courage to give them the rope and show them the tree so they can transfer their indolent selves yonder to meet their maker. That is if they will have the credentials to be within his vicinity because given the way they have off-loaded misery on us they are candidates for the furnace where they will have a good time with horned one. In the next few weeks they will jostle for a chance to sell us tomfoolery.

They will scramble to disperse blame. The opposition threw spanners into the works, we will be told. The government stuffed its ears and made it impossible to win the argument, they will say. We have heard such bunkum before.

Even as the so-called talks started it was clear they would not amount to much. There was a stupendous display of insolence from both sides. They were talking so they are not accused of refusing to talk. Their agenda was never to solve the problem.

TKK should go, said the opposition. TKK is going nowhere, said the government.

TKK was the deal breaker, they said after the meeting last week.

You can be sure with a little bit of prodding the same charade will start all over again, with the finger-pointing, the screams and the pomposity. Still there will be no movement.  The politics of this country stinks to high heaven. Its hollowness crushes the soul. It makes the head the spin and the heart bleed.

Amid the suffocating stench our politicians load their pockets and march on, leaving us to hold our noses. But we never learn for soon they will be come back deodorized and ready to ask for another chance to help them keep their perks. We, being Basotho, will oblige as we always do. Then a few months down the line we start mopping as if there was a gun to our heads when we voted. Phew!

Still on our politicians, Muckraker is peeved by the recklessness that went into the signing of the Phase 11 of the Lesotho Highland Water Project. Sometimes she just wonders who our politicians were working for when they signed that scandal of an agreement.

But that is not the saddest part of the agreement. What riles Muckraker is that the 1986 Treaty, the founding document of the project, is must better than the agreement signed more than two decade later. You see, the treaty was between Lesotho and the apartheid regime in South Africa. We hated their guts and they wished Lesotho would just expire. Yet even with that animosity the two came up with a decent treaty, never mind its omissions.  It said South Africa will get water while Lesotho gets electricity. Now the apartheid regime has kicked the bucket and we are negotiating with our fellow black brothers who are in charge in South Africa. Yet they want to screw us over. Oopps, did I say they want to screw us over? I lie. They have already screwed us. We have signed an agreement bereft of the power generation component. How this happened only the sangomas, ancestors and our politicians will know. Easy to see is that South Africa is hell bent on going ahead with the project without hydropower. Shocking is that there are some people, in the government and out of it, who think it’s no big deal.  Without the power component Lesotho is just a water reserviour for South Africa. We will be a water tank around which some lesser human beings people leave.

With Mohale and Katse dam we could pretend they were a commercial arrangement made by people hated each other. Someone was bound to be mugged somewhere.

On Polihali Dam, whose agreement was signed by equals of the same colour, such naked thievery cannot go unexposed. To shut up will be to connive with Zuma and his government. To look the other way is tantamount to dancing pantsula while your house is being emptied.

Muckraker suspects whoever signed the agreement fell for the same of tricks South Africa has been using for years on the water issue. First, they oversell the economic benefits of Lesotho building the dams. Then when that doesn’t do the magic they use idle threats that if Lesotho doesn’t sign the agreement fast they will look for options. That, of course, works on naïve politicians.

Both arguments are just hot air. The economic benefit of Lesotho building the dams is much more for South Africa. They need the dams more than we do. Without our water they will run their factories on saliva.

The notion of South Africa having an alternative source of water is just a scaremongering tactic. It’s a dead snake. If there was an option they would have taken it forty years ago.


One of Muckraker’s pastimes is to read documents written by people who think are important. This week she stumbled upon one written by the Broadcasting Dispute Resolution Panel (BDRP) which recommended a M10 000 against Harvest FM for offending Lieutenant Colonel Tefo Hashatsi in January.

Muckraker would like to applaud the panel for exercising restraint in its recommendations. For having cool heads, the panel deserves some Kudos.

Her problem is with the convoluted way one of the recommendations was written. “Steps must be taken by Harvest FM to enforce and protect opinions from dissenting voices along the lines of Thomas Jefferson Quote in an effort to promote non-partisan content,” said the BDPR.

Read that sentence again to see if you can get even a quarter of what is being communicated. If you can understand even a bit of what the writer is saying you either a genius or a sorcerer.

Which opinions should Harvest FM protect and enforce? And how does their enforcement and protection from “dissenting voices” “promote non-partisan content” work? How do you enforce an opinion? Mmmmmmmm. Someone get me a hankie. The writer must be fined for failing to communicate.

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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.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu

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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.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu

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Rough riders



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!

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu

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