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Masters of lies



Here is an indisputable historical fact. Basotho were the first people in human history to mine diamonds. That is according to a 1904 research by Professor Zet Makhado who was the first black vice-chancellor of the National University of Science and Technology (NUST).
The NUST, which was based in Morija, was the first university in Southern Africa.

It was however bombed by the Boers. If that sounds to you like new knowledge to be swallowed like makoenya you need urgent prayers. Fire!
You are frightfully ignorant and tantalizingly gullible. Muckraker cooked up that lie for no reason and without provocation. Just a wretched lie told because it can be told.
But if you think that is outrageous you have been sleep-walking over the past few years in Lesotho. Either that or you are part of the lying gang.

Those who have been awake and are yet to dive into the cesspool that is our politics will testify, even under oath, that Lesotho is a land of lies.
Because our politicians are pathological liars, it is pointless to list the lies they have emitted in recent months. For brevity, we only have to stick to their latest spell of deceptions. It is about the government’s gazette listing the benefits for Uncle Sam and MPs.

The opposition has been screaming about those benefits as if they are something new.
They are on radio bellowing about the government wasting money by pampering Uncle Sam with support staff and the MPs with allowances.

Some naïve but excitable journalists have joined the frenzy, echoing the opposition’s shrills and even spicing things up with by-products of their insatiable desire for the sensational.

First, there is nothing particularly new about the gazetted support staff positions for Uncle Sam. The brouhaha over the position of the gentleman-in-waiting, who is just a lowly-ranking aide, is overdone.

Those wondering what a gentleman-in-waiting does should tell us why they don’t kick up a fuss about the lady-in-waiting position that has always been in the Office of the First Lady.

Just because you are seeing something for the first time doesn’t mean it has just started existing. Don’t confuse your ignorance for discovery.
Many of the positions are for both his office and the State House anyway.

They have always existed. Their listing in the gazette doesn’t mean they are a recent creation. That you didn’t know about them doesn’t mean they didn’t exist. Whether they are filled or not is not the point. And it’s not about Uncle Sam staffing and stuffing the positions with cronies. Politicians’ aides have always been certified cronies anyway. A prime minister is free to choose who should drive or cook for him or carry his briefcase.

None of those now shedding crimson tears hired their aides on merit when they were in power. It was about proximity and party affiliations. The noise about MPs’ fuel allowances is breathtakingly hypocritical. The same people who awarded themselves those unjustified allowances are now saying the new government should remove them.

This is despite that they implemented them amid protests from the people and they had two years to remove them.
The irony will be hilarious were it not so tragic.

You fight to earn an allowance and then fight again to get it removed.
None of those MPs fighting to get the allowances removed have ever openly rejected them when they arrived in their bank accounts.

None has ever announced that they are donating it to the poor because they are ill-gotten and unjustified. People who have earned sitting allowances for years as MPs are now saying they should be removed because they amount to self-enrichment. Phew!

At what point did they regain their scruples? One weekly newspaper that never disappoints when it comes to manufacturing outrage even described Uncle Sam’s perks as “hair raising”. That’s a cliché to describe something astonishing or extremely alarming.

It is not clear how perks that have existed for decades would suddenly cause hair to rise. Suffice it to say some levels of ignorance are hair-raising.
Muckraker is not justifying the allowances or positions in Uncle Sam’s office. The point is that those opposed to them can make their point without lying or being hypocritical because that amounts to treating the public as unthinking zombies.

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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!

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu

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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.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu

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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.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu

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