MUCKRAKER, a rural girl to the core, has always liked real fights that are unregulated by rules and unrestrained by the pretentious dictates of decency. There is always something fascinating about spontaneous brawls. A spark is all it takes. Fought without weapons and by equally built opponents (not gender-based violence), fist fights are thoroughly enjoyable.
Top of Muckraker’s long bucket list is an opportunity to grab an MP by the collar and beat him to pulp, right there in parliament and to the wild cheers of his comrades. But given the security those MPs enjoy, that has always looked like a pipe-dream.
Still, while waiting for her rather lofty dream to come true, Muckraker has been prepared to settle for anything resembling a fight in parliament.
It matters not who is doing the beating as long as an MP has been pounded.
So imagine Muckraker’s delight last Friday when some MPs threatened to rearrange each other’s faces. Sitting in the public gallery, Muckraker ululated and bum jived. This, Muckraker thought, is the moment we have been waiting and praying for.
Finally there was going to be some whipping in parliament. And indeed there was some pushing and shoving. Timid punches were thrown, throats grabbed and ties pulled.
Then as the real blows were about to rain on someone a bunch of overzealous MPs appointed themselves peacemakers and jumped between the opponents. At that moment the match this Mafube girl had been waiting for had been sabotaged.
As the tension diminished so did the chance that bones would be broken, eyes gouged, ears wringed and faces pummelled.
The anti-climax was infuriating for the fiasco had begun with so much drama. Sister Doti, in particular, is to blame for vigorously sabotaging the fight.
The injustice of her action on Muckraker and other fun-starved Basotho is abundantly clear.
It’s not clear how Sister Doti flew into the fracas. One minute she was just minding her own business and the next she was pulling the MPs apart.
Some might argue that Sister Doti did the honourable thing to stop the fight. They are probably right, but only to the extent that the parliament is not an ideal boxing arena.
In any case, we should remember that Sister Doti is a mother in that parliament.
Mothers stop fights. She could not stand, arms akimbo, as the MPs clobbered each other. Stopping the fight was the moral thing to do and Sister Doti should be commended for that.
But politics is not governed by morals and decency. It is a filthy game played by the riffraff of society. The parliament also looks like a boxing arena (look at it closely and see what I mean). The reasons for allowing the fight far outweighed those for stopping it. Muckraker will give you just a few to illustrate that allowing MPs to exchange blows is fantastic.
The first is that a fight would have been a huge favour to the masses already pissed to the back teeth with their MPs.
A survey among friends and fellow villagers will show that the majority are itching to whack their MP.
But since they never get that opportunity, many would have celebrated the MPs hiding each other for the whole day.
After all, there is nothing wrong with fools smacking each other. Muckraker understands from Proverbs in the Big Book that “Even if you beat fools half to death, you still can’t beat their foolishness out of them.”
Yet that does not mean we should stop those fools from beating each other. It actually serves the angry people the trouble of having to spank them. On that point alone Sister Doti went against the grain. The second is that our parliament is legendary for being numbingly boring. Our MPs are so obsessed with being courteous that they forget their role is to shake things up with robust debate and candid comment.
Therefore a bit of fighting would have infused the much needed drama in that dull place.
The third is that occasional fights stop the MPs from sleeping in parliament. There are dozens of MPs who have turned parliament into their bedroom.
They find the most comfortable seat and doze off. Discussions and debates are irritating noises interfering with their core business of snoozing. The solution to such indolence is to start occasional fights.
That way MPs will know that if you visit the dreamland you will find yourself up-side-down on the floor.
The fourth is that anyone who receives interest-free loan of half a million maloti should give back a little something to the community.
Since these MPs are so stingy Muckraker thinks it would not be too much trouble if we ask them to have some mini-boxing matches in parliament.
The purpose, of course, is to entertain the people who elected them.
A little drama is all we ask for in exchange for the interest-free loans and the obscene salaries we pay them. The salaries are vulgar in the context of the little work they do and what the average voter earns.
If the MPs cannot deliver on their campaign promises — which they never so — at least they should give us something to laugh about.
After all, laughter is the best medicine. Yes, it’s the medicine for the misery they have caused us.
The fifth reason is that our MPs are lackadaisical when it comes to important matters. The only way to train them to be brisk is to encourage fights.
Fighting involves hurrying and running. You gallop when fists and chairs are flung your way. If you don’t duck fast you will bite the dust.
The point here is that scuffles will teach our MPs to do things faster, something we urgently need in this country.
The sixth reason is that brawls in parliament will give the MPs something interesting to tell their nyatsis. Imagine how dreary it might be for the MPs to be telling their nyatsis about the lousy debate and the routine prayers. “Honey, what happened in parliament?” “Nothing much, we just prayed and adjourned the session”. The nyatsis are tired of being told about bills, silly debates and adjournment. They want real drama that is thrilling. Imagine the amount of bonding that will happen if an MPs had something as dramatic as a fight to tell their nyatsis every day.
Monday: “Today was hectic. A chair missed my eye by a whisker. I gave Qoo an uppercut and he tumbled over. Oh, baby, you should have seen how the man wailed.”
Tuesday: “Pontšo Sekhatle was on fire today. She knocked out Fako with a karate kick.” “Yoh, that woman has got moves. She was jumping on tables while kicking a screaming Fako.”
Wednesday: “Honey, I never knew that Mosisili was a boxer. Baby, you should have seen how he went for Thabane. It was crazy! But now I know that Thabane is a schemer.
As Mosisili was coming for him Thabane pulled a long sjambok from his jacket. Mosisili retreated and hid behind Motanyane who was threatening to bite anyone who comes closer”.
Thursday: “Today Moleleki threatened to spank Mosisili if he doesn’t stop using insulting idioms. He said he will beat Mosisili together with his cows and camels. Mosisili said he was ready for a fight but not Moleleki’s funeral so he would rather walk away.”
Friday: “Baby, today was the best. We beat the opposition MPs until they were bellowing for their mothers. Give me a massage because I need to be fresh for next week. Metsing has threatened revenge.”
Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for the real families not fornicating. They should give summaries of the parliamentary dramas to their families.
Finally Muckraker would like to say she is deeply embarrassed by the way one sister from a rival paper covered the fracas in parliament.
The sister who works for Lesotho’s only Sunday paper and is given to occasional bouts of whining went to great lengths to minimise the story.
The story ended before it started as the reporter tried to squeeze out its juiciest details. She only told us that “chaos rocked parliament” with MPs “shoving and chocking each other”. We are not told who chocked who and who shoved who.
From reading the story it would seem that Qoo is the one who caused the chaos by refusing to accept the Speaker’s instructions to put his bum down.
What role Qoo played in the ensuing chaos is not clear. Equally hazy is which opposition MP was involved in the scuffle.
Muckraker wondered if the Sister was at the parliament when the fight happened.
But because the Sister is one of the most punctual reporters to functions Muckraker will assume that she was there.
If she was there then she would have at least told us which MPs moved from their seats. She would know who started the fight.
The suspicion is that she knows who started the fight but does not want to offend her political handlers.
Muckraker will say no more lest she be accused of pillorying reporters beneath her. It’s always good to make that distinction clear.
Let’s hope we have not entered the frightening era of self-censorship.
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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