SIZE TWO has never been known for being sly. What you see is what you get: A riddle here and a timid move there. Some sparks of oratory prowess and a near obsessive adherence to the middle of the road policy.
Which is why his decision this week to boot out Mokola from the police ministry and park him in his own office is staggering.
Mokola is now a Minister in the Prime Minister’s office. And that is not a laughing matter.
For the uninitiated in the business of political positions the pith and marrow of it is that Mokola has been demoted.
Yes, you read that right. Mokola is now technically a junior minister.
He has been stripped of the substantial power he was holding as police minister. Now he holds a hollow position, with no staff or budget of his own. In reality the only people who report to him are his drivers, aides and secretaries.
Put differently, Mokola is a minister of nothing, not even goats or cows.
He is a minister ‘in’ someone’s office and not a minister ‘of’ something. The difference between a minister in someone’s office and a minister of something is substantial.
An ‘in’ minister has no particular responsibilities apart from being sent around to do odd jobs here and there. He is like the prime minister’s executive assistant.
Crudely put, he is an errand boy whose chores are decided on the fly. Size Two can instruct Mokola to make him tea or file his papers correctly.
He can order Mokola to polish his shoes, carry his hat and hold his umbrella. And Mokola would have no right to complain because he is the minister of anything.
Mokola is now like a pool car in a big company: it has neither an owner nor a special purpose. It can be used for anything, from fetching firewood to delivering naughty employees to places of fornication.
The best Mokola can hope for is to attend international conferences Size Two thinks are beneath him. Once in a while he will be dispatched to the Moshoeshoe 1 Statue to receive a petition from nonentities fuming over non-issues.
Size Two can also use Mokola to shield himself from the battalions of riffraff that besiege his office every morning with complaints.
A Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office is an overrated and inflated position. It is used to reward politicians who have no particular talent but are considered useful in the broader political scheme.
Sometimes it is used to stroke an ego. There are many people with such high-sounding but utterly meaningless positions in the corporate world.
You have journalists being called Special Projects Editors, receptionists branded front desk managers, salespersons being called sales executives and tea boys christened beverage managers and ‘garden boys’ being labelled landscape designers.
Muckraker has met cleaners with titles like hygiene officers and mere bookkeepers called accountants.
We all know their breed: House plan drawers calling themselves architects and drivers wanting to be known as logistics officers.
There are clerks at law firms pretending to be lawyers, tailors calling themselves designers and welders calling themselves engineers.
Of course Mokola has not clamoured for this empty title, it has just been dumped on him like an unwanted baby.
He can either reject it like a plague or embrace it like a long lost lover who has just unexpectedly knocked on the door. How he reacts depends on how he views the position.
There are two ways to do that. First, he could take it as a slap on the face. And Muckraker will be with him on that one for it is as clear as a donkey’s behind that Size Two has not only humiliated Mokola but also clipped his wings.
Second, he could view this as Size Two’s way of grooming him for the ultimate position. If that is the case then Mokola is now Size Two’s intern, which is still embarrassing for a seasoned politician who has been in government for decades.
If this is how low Mokola is prepared to sink before he can become prime minister then God forbid.
There is a yet another way to look at it and that is for Mokola to see it as an opportunity to spy on Size Two.
Now that he shares an office with him he can study Size Two’s weaknesses while getting ready to deliver the knockout punch. They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
For Size Two there is only one way he can look at it. Muckraker suspects he wants to cut Mokola down to size.
He might as well be daring Mokola to carry out his threat to elope with Uncle Tom who has clearly stated that he has enough cows in his kraal to pay the bride price.
The adage-spitting man from Tsoelike is telling Mokola to dare sign the divorce papers if he thinks he has the clout.
If Mokola does not react to this humiliation then he is indeed a patient man or his clout has been exaggerated all along. Let’s see if the owl has horns after all.
Muckraker will not apologise for her two-week hiatus. It was a break necessitated by an urgent mission that could not be postponed any day longer.
She was on a quest to find a commonsense-manufacturing machine for this country. There has never been a more urgent need for this machine than now.
Until we start using commonsense this country will remain stuck in misery. We will forever remain the landlords of the gutter.
A little country with more goats than people. An excruciating boil on Sadc’s behind. Phew!
The truth hurts yet we need more of it.
Do a bum jive for Muckraker for saying aloud that which you whisper. Never mind lofty ideas like the Vision 2020, an orotund vision only useful in proving we are a country madly in love with daydreaming.
Read that vision again and you will see that we need a shrink to rid us of our ceaseless delirium.
Banish the thought that the National Strategic Development Plan, a glorified and vaunted document, will take this country anywhere pronto.
Did someone mention the Millennium Development Goals? Nxa! Utter baloney. They are only useful to us when begging for donor money which we munch through inflated salaries and pointless workshops.
What Lesotho needs now, not tomorrow, is commonsense. Notice that Muckraker is not talking about education.
Lesotho has benefited zilch from the thousands of degree-clutching individuals produced since independence.
The return on that investment is zero because most of those we have sent to school are functionally illiterate.
Yeh, I said it! The average graduate in this country cannot spell his name under pressure or, least of all, solve a simple problem.
Simple commonsense is the panacea to our problems so Muckraker will continue in her dogged pursuit for it.
You see the dearth of commonsense in almost everything we do as a country, from the way we handle traffic jams to how we deal with our political disputes.
Having jettisoned commonsense through the window we default to history in times of troubles. Self-inflicted trouble, that is. Nyoe, Nyoe, we used to do it like this so we can do it like that again.
The commercial banks are too stingy to fund our mickey-mouse businesses so let’s go back to 25 years ago when we had the Lesotho Bank.
We have a political crisis so let’s spin back to the 1990s when we had the interim political authority.
The army is always up some high jinks so let’s disband and go back to before 1966 when we had no soldiers.
Our exports are low. Mmmmmmm, let’s go back to Leabua’s era when we used to export asparagus. The South Africans are kicking out our children so we want back the territory they stole from us during Moshoeshoe’s time.
The politicians are up to their usual monkey shines so let’s go back to a time when the monarchy had executive powers.
It’s all nostalgia over prattle. We keep marching to the blether of the past. The truth is that we exaggerate and misread our legacy.
We think so highly of it that we don’t realise the world has moved on and so have we. If the Lesotho we have today is how far our legacy has taken us then to hell with it.
Muckraker is deeply disturbed by allegations from some high-strung quarters that she doesn’t like MaIsiah. Nothing can be more scandalous and bereft of substance.
Although she has her differences with MaIsiah Muckraker would like to put it on record that she has no beef with her.
If anything, ours is a sisterly bond rabid haters will not destroy. Which is why it gives me pleasure to inform you soon she might be back in the State House.
Take that with a pinch of salt if you are a DC supporter, for it is your right to doubt that which roils your heart.
Yet there are times when the truth should be embraced with its thorns. The piercing truth is that this government is no longer standing on all fours. All it might take is for the lady in Ladybrand to say E ntate!
The possibility of this happening is no longer as remote as the chances of Lesotho winning the World Cup.
That was the case a few months ago when Size Two and Mokola were joined at the hip.
Then they pretended that neither of them was a Judas Iscariot. Times have changed. Mokola is fuming and has crossed the border to Ladybrand to court Uncle Tom who received him with a bucketful of kisses.
So the possibility of Lesotho having a new government, one as frail as the one we already have, are as high as those of finding a thief in the government.
Muckraker would like to invite everyone except journalists to a Trump victory party over the weekend. Why are journalists not invited, you may ask.
Well, they tried to pull down Trump.
They said he was a fool, which he is. They said he is a liar, which he is. They said he is a pervert, which he is.
Yet in their stampede to mock Trump they forgot that there was a huge group of Americans who did not give a hoot about all those things.
In pillorying Trump, journalists were speaking to themselves.
All that boils down to the fact that mainstream media are almost always wrong when it comes to understanding people’s emotions and dreams. Sadly, they still pretend they have it all figured out.
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.
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.
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!
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