Let’s start by pushing the argument a notch lower to cater for the majority of the MPs who are celebrated empty-heads.
What is it that an MP does that a donkey cannot do? Many will be hard-pressed to find a difference.
MPs eat a lot, so do donkeys. Donkeys fight just like MPs did a few months ago.
Both can make sounds. A well-trained donkey can vote just like an MP. They both mate.
Let’s not hear the silly argument that donkeys cannot read like MPs because it is a notorious fact that most MPs cannot comprehend what they read. What is the point of being able to read when you cannot comprehend the meaning of the words?
Let’s bin the tempting argument that MPs can scrutinise laws because that is not true.
The average MP knows zilch about law-making. It is the technocrats and a few smart MPs who can interpret the law. The rest are just relevant when it comes to voting.
Now that we have eloquently established that a donkey can be an MP we have to ask why MPs think they deserve to be paid M75 000.
And we should make one thing clear before we conclude this matter: While a donkey can be an MP it cannot be said that an MP can be a donkey. Donkeys are loyal and MPs are not.
Donkeys work hard while MPs are lazy.
All this amounts to saying that this country will go somewhere far if donkeys were MPs. All we need are hardworking and loyal donkeys that work for their masters and demand very little in return.
Just a kraal and some grass is enough for a donkey.
Yet every day it is carrying heavy loads plus its owner to the grinding mill.
It works in the field for crops it doesn’t eat. Oh, blessed is the MP who behaves like a donkey for he will be remembered for selflessly toiling for his master.
Muckraker will never write an open letter to the any politician for it is banal self-delusion to think they read anything couched in civil language. Insults and votes are the only languages they understand. Insults, because they thrive on them.
Votes, because they are the only things that scare them. Anything else is just some balderdash to be ignored like a fart.
So today Muckraker pulls a middle finger to the MPs clamouring for a shocking salary increase. There is a cabal of overrated backbenchers who want their salaries increased from about M40 000, itself a vulgar figure, to a tear-inducing M75 000. As usual, there is no cogent justification for demanding such an obscene amount.
They will never talk about the cost of living because that is not the issue here.
The point is to eat, eat and eat. When they want to cross the floor in parliament they will claim to have consulted “their” people.
But when they want to increase their salaries they huddle in that cracking Chinese-donated rondavel and speak in hushed voices.
When it comes to salaries it’s their business and theirs alone. You can see there is something sinister about the timing of this outrageous demand.
There are some misdirected souls in parliament that think they can arm-twist Dr Moeketsi ‘Mr Softie’ Majoro to pummel then with more maloti. Although none will say it, the truth is that they think Mr Softie owes them something for carting him into State House.
They want to put the fear of God in him so that he can play ball.
But Mr Softie, as an economist, should not be dragged on to the gravy train full of greedy charlatans. Instead, he should invite the MPs to an educated debate about salaries.
A salary is not what you think you should earn but what the employer says they can afford.
You can negotiate all you want but in the end it is affordability that determines what you get.
The truth is that Lesotho cannot afford to pay M75 000.
But that, however, will be a sophisticated debate beyond the collective mental stamina of our dim-witted MPs.
A simpler argument should be about whether they work or not. No MP can claim that they deserve the salary they are demanding. In fact, none of them deserves what they are getting now.
It will be a miracle if Lesotho’s MPs work more than three months a year. Let’s do the numbers. From June to August they are on a winter recess. Call it the hibernation season.
From November to February they are on the festive break. Call it the eating season.
Those two breaks amount to seven months of unbridled indolence. Of course they will tell you that their work is not restricted to the parliamentary session because they also have constituency offices. That however is a barefaced lie that can only be told men and women with big tummies and empty heads. There is no need to wonder what they will be doing during the remaining five months.
The evidence is there in the Hansard.
There are prayers, a few questions and some heckling. Occasionally they will debate one or two Bills but evidence shows that they don’t make many laws in that parliament. There are tens of Bills gathering dust which they argue about mundane issues.
It’s not that they don’t have the time to discuss the laws. No! They have all the time in the world but they spend it on petty issues.
And they can work if they want to. Look at the stunning speed with which they passed the amendment that stops a prime minister from advising the king to dissolve parliament when he loses their support. For the first time they were putting in overtime because they wanted to protect their jobs.
Look how they dutifully attended parliament when they wanted to kick out Uncle Tom.
So yes, the MPs have the energy but they spend it on themselves instead of the people.
Muckraker knows that no amount of public anger will stop the MPs from pushing this M75 000 issue so she would like to warn them.
Keep hammering at this if you want to see Muckraker stripping naked at parliament. Some perverts will ogle at her curves and that is the point.
Only a nude Muckraker will keep the MPs busy enough to momentarily forget about the salaries.
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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