MUCKRAKER likes Minister Tefo Mapesela because he doesn’t pretend to be in charge of his mouth. Mapesela will say the first thing that comes to his mind.
The beauty about such people is that they rarely lie about their emotions.
If he is pissed he is pissed.
They never pretend to be clever because they know they are not very smart.
They win by shouting and not lucid reasoning.
And for a politician that is a potent skill because politics is never about thought but shrieking.
With Mapesela, what you see is what you get.
You have to admire the naïve honesty he exudes every time he opens his mouth.
He doesn’t even know if he is punching above his weight.
Mapesela will still be speaking his mind even when he has been shoved under a moving bus.
Call it what you may but there is something sexy about a man who risks all just so he can have the last word in an argument.
At least he stands for something unlike dubious characters in the government.
For the past three weeks Mapesela has been throwing tantrums over the security chiefs who he says are getting too used to him like the road to a VIP toilet.
He has threatened to spank them into line.
Imagine Commissioner Molibeli dancing to Mapesela’s sjambok.
How about Lieutenant General Letsoela saying “ichuuuu” as Mapesela unleashes his whip on him?
Predictably, the army and police bosses have largely ignored him because they know that his words do not matter.
They know that he thrives on profanities and threats.
So his screams will soon disappear like a fart.
The security bosses also know that when push comes to a shove Uncle Tom will choose them over him.
The choice is not difficult.
Mapesela has a constituency while the commander has the army.
Mapesela has voters while the commissioner has the police.
Mapesela can shout on radio but the NSS boss knows things about him and his boss.
Muckraker suspects Mapesela knows all this but he just cannot contain himself.
He just cannot resist the temptation to have a street brawl.
He cannot fire the army boss but it makes him feel good to say that he can.
He cannot punish the police commissioner but the little man in him just cannot shut up.
And this is the trouble with Uncle Tom’s government.
It is overflowing with lots of Mapeselas. They are the face of the government.
The strategists have been elbowed out to the fringes.
In the ring are characters who like spurring over trivial issues.
Sadly, they think they are defending the government when they are embarrassing it.
This is why we are in this humongous mess. The rank marshals are driving the buses.
The drivers are now conductors and the bus owners are passengers. The gods of comedy keep on giving. Laughter is the best medicine.
May this drama never end so that those who put all their hope in politicians learn the lesson.
Slowly but surely the ululation has died down.
We hear the zealots grumbling about the government.
What is left is for them to just admit that they were useful tools in a game whose rules they have not mastered.
Politics is a mean game played by thugs.
“Major victory for Mahao faction,” so screamed the headline in a local weekly.
Startled, Muckraker dashed to get a copy.
But like all newspaper headlines, this one turned out to be a damp squib. Laden with fury but bereft of substance.
Not that they had concocted the ‘victory’ for Mahao. They were right but they had shouted louder than they should.
In any case, the real story wasn’t in the ‘victory’ but the embarrassment of Sister Justice ‘Maseforo Mahase whose inane judgement had been treated like trash by the Court of Appeal.
The short story is that three weeks ago Justice Mahase delivered a stunningly incompetent order declaring the ABC’s special conference unlawful.
This she did without hearing from people who had a vested interest in the matter.
She scrambled to deliver that judgement within a few hours yet for three months she had been dilly-dallying on almost a similar case challenging the election results of the same special conference that she was now declaring illegal.
Such bungling is breath-taking and the Court of Appeal judges were justifiably flabbergasted and disgusted.
Their response was clear: take this stinking dung back to the High Court before we suffocate.
They didn’t have to hold their noses to show that there was a stench in that judgement.
It was as clear as the fact that the total number of LCD supporters can no longer fill a wheelbarrow.
The contempt from the Court of Appeal judges would have been enough to send Justice Mahase hiding in a gutter at the Palace of Justice.
But before she could find the dirtiest hole they clobbered her with another decision.
They said the case must be heard by another High Court judge.
That was a diplomatic way of telling Justice Mahase to keep her mitts off that case.
More like saying she should find somewhere else to play.
In human resources lingo this is neither a gentle censure nor a transfer.
It’s a dismissal on the basis of incompetence.
It’s similar to what happens in the rural areas when men want to discuss serious issues and they suspect one of their own bearded kind is a dimwit incapable of any substantial contribution to the matter at hand.
One elder will gently tell the excuse of a man to help the boys skin the goat or buy joala somewhere far.
The same has happened to Justice Mahase. She has been told to find the cows for the morabaraba game she is not allowed to play.
Suddenly, the sister is a spectator in a case she thought she had properly handled.
The Court of Appeal Judges said to her: You know fokol because your judgement is fokol and we don’t give a rat’s behind about it.
That leads Muckraker to officially announce that the judge has now deservedly earned her nickname as Justice ‘Masefokol Mahase.
Let no one raise a finger when Muckraker uses that nickname from now on.
She deserves it. You know you are not trusted when the task you thought you had performed well is given to someone else.
Muckraker can live with thieves, prostitutes, liars and morons.
She has all those in her life.
What she will never tolerate are hypocrites. So thieves should not cry when someone steals their things.
Liars must embrace their lies and those of others.
Morons should embrace each other without a hint of judgement.
No prostitute should judge another prostitute. It’s that simple.
The problem with hypocrites is that they go beyond just sinning. It’s one thing to sin and quite another to condemn others of committing the same sin.
The point is that sinners must keep their accusatory fingers to themselves.
That is why Muckraker was shocked that Justice Mahase could not resist the alluring power of hypocrisy.
In her moaning letter to Justice Mosito, she accuses the Court of Appeal of delivering a judgement without following procedure.
She has the audacity to stand atop Thaba-Bosiu and lecture the Court of Appeal judges about the importance of observing due process.
One of cries is that five Court of Appeal judges heard the ABC’s appeal and delivered a judgement a few hours later. Yet she did the same in the same case when it was before her.
She says the case was filed without following due process yet a few days ago she was busy hearing the same case when she knew that interested parties had not been cited in the papers.
At least the Court of Appeal judges were hearing everyone involved in the case.
There were several lawyers too.
And the gallery had some visitors.
Can Justice Mahase tell us who else was there when she heard the same case a few weeks ago?
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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