IT was only a matter of time before John Xie, the de facto Sherriff of Maseru, cooked up another stinker. He has been farting on Basotho for decades. He doesn’t need any provocation for he genuinely believes this country is his spaza shop.
Forget this delusional nonsense about Lesotho being independent.
It is just hot air to make us feel better in our misery under John.
Nyoe, nyoe, Lesotho’s borders should extend to the Vaal River. Holy dung!
We are bellowing about perceived historical injustices yet we have a man defecating in our wells. Yet instead of telling him to go hang we are gulping the water and even marvelling that it has a sour taste.
We all know the dangers of ululating at a crazy man at a funeral.
Egged on, he might molest or pinch the corpse. That is what Basotho have done to John. Little wonder he had grown a long tail. Ours is a dubious distinction of being colonised by an individual.
While others are moaning about China and America taking over their countries we are crying about an individual shoving us into his pocket.
Not even the Covid-19 crisis could stop John from dipping his hands into the cookie jar.
The man never allows a crisis to go to waste. So while the lockdown had us stranded in our homes John’s money printing machines at the Manthabiseng Convention Centre were in overdrive.
Working overtime and sweating on the printing machines were politicians and some civil servants. You know you have a perverted mind when you rob your own people to feed a stranger. Let there be no mistake: There are politicians who have made it their vocation to help John screw this country. In return they are rewarded with pittances.
After reading the details of John’s stinking convention centre deal you are tempted to believe that our government employees are either naïve, daft or both.
Stupid is a more appropriate word but the rules of decorum prohibit its use on breasted women and bearded men. While the public anger and anguish at the scandal is noted, Muckraker believes it is based on a narrow understanding of the magnitude of John’s tomfoolery.
That much is clear from the way people are fixated with the fact that he was charging the government M53 000 per day. The trouble with that line of thinking is that it misses the deeper nuances that really matter.
If your anger is against the quantum then you are probably amenable to a small charge.
So maybe M3 000 per day is more palatable to you. Yet that should never be the argument.
To persist on that path would be to confuse the bush for a forest.
An apt analysis should look at the whole deal as just a thieving project.
Let’s get into it then. Suppose you own a house where a tenant pays M3 200 per month. Now, a natural disaster then leaves you homeless and you ask your tenant for a room in your own house. The tenant charges you M5 300 per day. Only a confirmed and unrepentant idiot would accept such a deal. This is precisely what happened in this John scandal.
The government was renting its own property from John. Phew!
The government gave John’s company a contract to manage the Manthabiseng Convention Centre. In return the company paid the government M32 000 in monthly rentals which translated to M384 000 a year. John would then lease the building to Basotho and make a handsome profit. When the government wanted to use the centre John charged M53 000 per day. And against all logic, shame or sense of proportion, someone in government decided that this was a fabulous deal and agreed to it. Several things arise here.
First, it is clear that John’s company was not going to make a cent from the centre during the Covid-19 crisis because all public events had been cancelled.
So it was John who needed the government and not the other way round.
He could either allow the government to rent the building or earn nothing for the next few months. Yet when the government officials entered the negotiations with John they behaved as if it was the government that was desperate.
So John went from earning nothing from the centre to making M53 000 per day. Let that sink in. Now curse if that riles you.
The government had all the cards in the negotiations but disgustingly handed them all to John. Second, nothing would have stopped the government from using the centre for free.
After all this was a national disaster. The contract with John could have been cancelled on the basis that there was a national disaster.
The contract said each party could give a 30-day notice if it wanted out of the deal but given the circumstances an immediate eviction would have been justified.
To successfully sue, John would have had to quantify the amount of business he lost when the government was occupying the building.
The man would have been hard-pressed to come up with even M500 as his loss during that time there was zero business during the lockdown.
Third, it’s not as if the government did not have options. Nearly every hotel and hall in this country was vacant during the lockdown.
Any hotel company would have jumped at the opportunity to have someone renting its property. In any case, there were many unused or underused government buildings.
The old State House is empty. The new one is underutilised and its not-so-useful tenants could have been moved into a smaller place.
After all, there were no foreign diplomats to entertain during the crisis.
Fourth, let it not be forgotten that the convention is a national asset. Whether it is run by a private company, a donkey, goat or a ministry is another issue.
The best John would have received is a reprieve on his monthly rentals to the government. If that was considered unfair then the government would have paid John M32 000 per month, the same amount it was receiving from him.
The government agreed to pay M4 million to rent its own building for 77 days from John. Over the same time John would have paid the government a measly M80 000 for leasing the building. Only a moron agrees to pay M53 000 per day to rent his own building from a tenant he is charging M32 000 per month for the same property.
You need not be a business genius to see the inanity of that deal.
But this is not a mathematical issue. This is about corruption at its most disgusting level.
This is the stuff that makes you puke and soil your pants at the same time. Your bowls just let go as soon you hear the story.
John has pulled the middle finger on both the government and Basotho. He is peeing on their heads as they ululate. This BS has to stop at some point.
It is not funny anymore. John has been allowed to defecate in the village well for far too long.
But we must never be under any illusion that anyone in the government will stop this tosh. Nearly all politicians in this country, whether in government or opposition, are stuck in John’s pockets. Size Two had his daughter’s wedding funded by John. Yes, that idiom spewing former prime minister was not beyond freebies from dubious characters like John.
It is because of John’s money that DJ Waters had a memorable birthday.
Uncle Tom once stayed in John’s house for months. He later rewarded John with a plum position in his office.
Nearly every party that matters in Lesotho has received funding from John.
He has funded campaigns for both national and party office.
Many politicians, including those in the government and in parliament, have eaten free groceries from John’s Jackpot Supermarket. John has funded the STI treatments of dozens of politicians. They are all beholden to John. He is their master. The permanent prime minister. While politicians come and go, John remains in charge.
Any politician who claims to have never received a cent from John is a lying bastard.
The man himself has bragged of financing (read that as bribed) every politician in this country.
In his warped thinking the convention centre deal is nothing shocking because the politicians and government officials were just returning a favour.
That is why he has the nerve to sue the government for that outrageous rent. He has grabbed the politicians by the balls and they will move mountains to make sure that he is paid.
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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