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Muckraker

Phori, amateurs and CJ

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MUCKRAKER is furious that no church has called a day, of prayer for Acting Chief Justice ’Maseforo Mahase at a time when she is having a pounding headache over the ABC election case.
The only sort of empathy came in the form of a single line in a shabby epistle from the Judicial Officers Association of Lesotho (Joale).

Muckraker vividly recalls that sentence because it was the only lucid one in that jumbled up letter.
“We members of the Judicial Officers Association of Lesotho hope this letter finds Your Lordship in good health in these rainy and cold days,” Joale said.
It’s not clear if this was a mischievous reference to Justice Mahase’s recent troubles. The letter itself was something to behold because of its long and zigzagging sentences.
Before moaning about salaries and poor working conditions, the magistrates should be asking the government to fund a two-day workshop on the use of a full stop. For those who don’t know, the full stop is the most powerful punctuation mark in English.

It stops you from looking like a scatter-brain. Love it and it will make your writing better.
Loath it and it will expose you together with your Grade Three teacher.
There will also be a session on the comma, the most dangerous punctuation mark in English. Love it without understanding its rules and it will wreak havoc in your writing. Joale has no respect for both the full stop and the comma.
The result is that their letters read like they were written by someone whose bladder was just about to burst with pee.

So sentences read like paragraphs crammed with a mishmash of unrelated ideas.
Little wonder no one in government is dealing with their grievances. Their letters don’t make sense. You don’t know whether they are saying their salaries are too low or too high.
And by the time you finish reading you are left wondering if they are complaining, pleading or simply putting things on record.
Muckraker is not suggesting that Joale’s leadership hires Nthakeng Selinyane, the affable government spokesperson, who is also refusing to be courted by both the comma and full stop.
He has since told them that he will never fall in love with them because they are suggesting a polygamous relationship.

But let’s get back to Justice Mahase’s “good health in these rainy and cold days”. If Muckraker was Justice Mahase she would have responded with a short letter.
“Dear Joale. Thank you for asking about my health. I must hasten to tell you that the days are not only cold and rainy but also dark. Your complaints about salaries and working conditions are Mickey Mouse business when compared to the horror that has befallen me.
“Comrades, I laugh when you cry about the independence of the judiciary. If I knew that my promotion would lead to concerted and nefarious efforts to capture me I would have remained a mere judge. Yet here I am, being asked to separate two quarrelling rascals.”

They started their own petty fight in the veld but they want me to decide who was wrong. As you might know, I wasn’t there when they scratched each other. I was here minding my own business when I saw them trooping into my chambers, each complaining that the other bit him during the fight.
“So when you wish me good health in these rainy and cold days, you should remember that your words are not as comforting as you think. What I need is a raincoat and a blanket. If you can deliver those we might begin to talk about ‘good health’. For now, let me crack my head on how to deal with this ABC fiasco.”
“I love the party but its skirmishes are getting to my nerves. Sometimes the prospect of delivering that judgement gives me a running tummy. Sometimes, I want to tell them to go hang but then there is this small matter of the perks that come with this acting position. As chief justice I no longer have to pound the corridors of the Palace of Justice looking for tea and printing paper.”

“Ooh, shame! You should see my brothers, Justice Monapathi and Justice Peete begging for tissues. It’s comical. Justice Monapathi will be teasingly rubbing his moustache as he explains why he needs the tissue sooner than yesterday. When things are really tough he even pretends to have a running nose just to make sure he gets the tissue.”
“As for Justice Peete, I can only say Lord have mercy. The man will tell you how he forgot that too much beans is not good for his tummy. One day he threatened to offload his bowels in the registrar’s office after she said they were still waiting for money from government to buy more tissues.”
“These are good men who are treated badly by the government. At the end of the day, I am just a chief justice trying to be confirmed to the substantive position. The point I am making, I am sure your legal minds will comprehend, is that you are not the only ones with problems in this judiciary.
“So kiss that dirty baby of yours while we wait for Wasco to open the water taps.

Yours faithfully,

Acting Chief Justice Mahase.

PS: next time keep your letters short because we don’t know when we will get the next supply of printing paper. I hear the last rim was used by court interpreters in the toilets. ”

Joale members will notice that even when pretending to be Justice Mahase, Muckraker respects commas and full stops.
Here is a hilarious but dead serious story. Three National University of Lesotho (NUL) students dodged an examination because they had not studied. They had spent the previous night imbibing the merry waters.
When their hangover was subsiding they smeared themselves with grease and went to see their lecturer.
“Sir, we are sorry we couldn’t make it to the exam. We attended a wedding and our car broke down. That’s why we are so dirty, as you can see.”
The lecturer said he understood and gave them three days to prepare. After three days, they went to the lecturer ready for the exam. The lecturer put them in three separate classes with only four questions in the exam paper.

1. Who got married? (25 marks),
2. Where was the reception held? (25marks)
3. Where exactly did the car break down? (25marks)
4. What type of car broke down? (25marks)
Please note that your answers must be the same as those of your two friends.
They are still in the exam hall as we speak. The lesson of the story: The truth shall set you free.
Go ahead and laugh loud. Louder! You may laugh but this is exactly what is happening at the Ministry of Small Business. A few days ago the ministry stood on Thabana-Ntlenyana to announce its latest “innovation”.

This time it was playing pimp for some start-up called Basotho Meat Enterprise which claims to be selling shares to locals. You could see from the Facebook post that the ministry officials who posted that ‘pimping’ note were jubilant and thought they were delivering spectacular news to investment-opportunity-starved Basotho.
“We will cut the long story and go straight to the point,” said the officials as if they were about to make an earth-shattering declaration.
Muckraker’s ears pricked but she was soon flabbergasted by what she read next.
Here was a whole ministry hawking shares of a private company at a public market.
The company, registered only six months ago, was selling each share for M80 000.
Yes, you heard that right.

A ministry that looks after the interests of traders was proudly announcing that a private company was selling a share for M80 000. The irony of a ministry yelping about an M80 000-share was obviously lost on the culprit.
It however did not take long for the tall story to start crumbling. Muckraker’s colleagues were not buying the gobbledygook so they made a few calls.
They called Chalane Phori, the Minister, and Mosito Khethisa, the man who seems to be the brains behind the Basotho Meat Enterprise. And lo and behold, the story lost its legs fast.
Why is a private company offering shares to the public? How did you get to the M80 000 price? How much did the initial investor put in it? Why is the share capital one million Maloti?
Phori and Khethisa have been scrambling to answer those simple questions for the past five days. In one room Phori is talking about empowering Basotho, a mantra he desperately clutches at whenever he faces tough questions.

Khethisa is in another room, violently scratching his head to find answers to simple arithmetic. When asked how the share price got to M80 000, he started counting his fingers.
He cannot figure the simple relationship between the number of shares and the price of each share. To cut the long story short, Phori and Khethisa cannot give tallying answers to simple questions. All this is because their whole scheme is amateurish.
They dived into Maqalika Dam when they could not swim. Why did they jump in the first place?

Well, it’s because they are excitable fellows who happen to labour under the illusion that Basotho are as impressionable as they are.
They did not even bother to match their stories before plonking that offensive missive on Facebook. So now confusion is oozing from their mouths as they try to make sense of what they were thinking when they made the post.
Khethisa is at sea while Phori is groping in the dark. Both fervently hope their bunkum will eventually sort itself out. But don’t be surprised for we always do things in haste and in reverse in this country. We impregnate before we marry. We build houses and then plan the settlement later.

We drive before we get a licence. The truth is that the whole transaction stinks because it’s both legally and mathematically crippled.
Whoever designed the scheme has a morsel of manure in their head. What irritates Muckraker is that no one in the ministry, teeming with graduates, noticed that this was bunk.
We should be laughing at such a brazen display of incompetence were this not a naked attempt to pull a fast one on Basotho. The whole idea that this is some empowerment scheme makes the whole ministry look hopelessly inapt and inept.

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Muckraker

The market of rascals

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THE Market’s management is either high on something illegal or just reckless.
They could also be either proudly incompetent or simply daft.
Muckraker suspects they are high, reckless, incompetent and daft.
That is a heavy burden to carry but self-inflicted and deserved.

Their job is to feed tummies and quench thirsts but they believe they are capable of many jobs. In addition to cooking chickin, they fancy themselves to be detectives, expert witnesses, rape experts, psychologists, communication gurus, criminologists, prosecutors, CCTV analysts and many other things they conjure up in their small minds.
That much is lavishly clear from their crude statement reacting to a woman who alleges she was raped in their toilet last week.
Instead of just acknowledging the alleged incident, The Market was sweating to testify, analyse evidence, scrutinise footage and play judge.
They tell us the alleged victim arrived at the restaurant “heavily intoxicated” as if they had measured the alcohol content in her blood.
They say she had left an “unpaid bill” at another restaurant as if they were the Small Claims Court.
They claim CCTV footage shows the victim coming out of the toilets holding hands with her alleged attacker as if they are certain that the handholding was consensual and not one dragging the other. Make no mistake about the sinister motive behind those salacious details sprinkled all over the statement.
They were gathering wood for a pyre to burn the woman and her allegations.
Their demented reasoning is something like this: she could not have been raped because she was intoxicated, absconded her bill down the street and was holding hands with the alleged attacker. None of those things have been proven and they might be just shameless lies told by uncouth characters.
The point, accepted by everyone else except some nincompoops, is that The Market should not have mentioned anything about a bill or intoxication. They are not just trivialising her serious allegations but also calling her a drunk who dodges bills and lies about being raped.
They do this by telling what they believe to be a cogent tale to illustrate that her story is incredible.
Muckraker read that clumsy statement several times and each time she was further disgusted by both the writer and The Market as a business.
They say the gentleman from another restaurant who is “well known to The Market staff” claimed that the woman had left an unpaid bill. That is not some random anecdote but an attempt to justify why they allowed him into the bar after they had closed.
It could also be a flimsy attempt at saying the man could not have violated the woman because he is “well known” to them.
As soon as the narration started Muckraker knew The Market was on an evil path.
And boy, did they march with vigour.
They say while the two were discussing the unpaid bill, the victim “indicated that she needed the bathroom”. Then comes the killer line in the statement: “Moments later, the said gentleman also walked to the bathroom, where after a while they both emerged holding hands”.
The public is invited to conclude that the discussion about the unpaid bill was resolved in the toilet and the two “emerged holding hands”.
In other words, whatever was said or happened in the toilet was so mutual that a debt was settled and hands were held.
The victim blaming and bashing could have ended there but The Market was just getting started.
After social media clobbered them for their callous and inept statement, The Market came back with a second one pretending to be correcting the first one.
This time they tried to sanitise the first statement by weeding out the offensive parts but avoided withdrawing the first statement and sincerely apologising to the woman.
They forget that people will never unlearn what they learned from the first statement and are most likely to read the second statement as an update rather than a correction.
But just like that, The Market thinks they have dodged the bullet so they can go back to their cooking and notorious upselling.
Their message to women is stinging: “It’s your funeral if you run away from a bill and get raped in our toilets. We will protect ourselves and the suspects at all costs. For good measure, we will tell the public you enjoyed free drinks and got so drunk that you made allegations of rape against our friend who was only trying to get you to pay”.
Muckraker will not speculate on what happened but can say, without fear or favour, that The Market’s management are unmitigated and unrepentant rascals. Only a business managed by accredited scoundrels reacts with such brazen thuggery to allegations of rape on its premises. Muckraker didn’t say CHE accredits scoundrels but that the mischief exhibited by The Market is of such high quality that it deserves a certification of sorts and at a higher level. It’s Level 8 stuff.
Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu
muckracker.post@gmail.com

 

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Muckraker

The Market of nonsense

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You are wrong if you think The Market’s statement about the alleged rape in their toilets is just terrible public relations or some error of judgment.
The statement reflects society’s attitude towards rape victims and women in general. That much is clear in the statement’s tone.

The statement says the alleged victim was “heavily intoxicated” but the truth is that its author was drunk from both something illegal and prejudice.
Even someone who had drunk all the beer, ciders, cocktails, whisky, gin and brandy in The Market would not come up with such a statement. This is top-notch BS rehearsed over years and expertly mastered. The Makhadzi dance to the alleged victim’s trauma.
But there is more to show their contempt for the alleged victim.
The one-page statement mentions the alleged victim’s name five times. Five!
It has 11 sentences and mentions the victim’s name in five of them.
It is unethical to mention rape victims by name but The Market did it anyway because they probably wanted to remind everyone that she is “that woman”.
You can bet your last January kobo that some dunderheads will justify naming her on the basis that she had already identified herself by posting the incident on social media. Nonsense!
The Market had no right to identify her by name in their statement.
They didn’t seek her consent. And even if they did, it’s still unethical.
To see that mentioning her name five times was not an innocent mistake you have to check how many times the statement mentions her alleged attacker‘s name. Zero!
This is despite that the alleged victim had revealed his name, or at least part of it, on social media. They call him “a staff member of one of the establishments at Maseru” and a “gentleman”.
They don’t even say the man is from one of the establishments at Maseru Mall because that would instantly narrow the list and expose him.
So they resort to saying “Maseru” as if Maseru City is synonymous with Maseru Mall. The idea was to keep his identity as vague as possible. Even if the alleged victim had not mentioned his name The Market knew him because the statement says he is “well known to The Market staff”.
There is a method to the madness here. The Market was at pains to protect the alleged attacker while loudly shouting the victim’s name. Ideally, neither the victim nor the suspect should have been mentioned by name. She is a victim of rape and the suspect was yet to appear in court.
Those with an eye for detail might have also noticed that The Market unashamedly tries to pretend to have suddenly discovered the woman’s rape allegations on her Facebook page. She reported to their staff soon after the alleged incident.
Muckraker will end this depressing story with one more observation.
The Market’s statement mentions “toilets” as if they have many toilets.
The reality is that it’s one toilet for men and women. The main entrance is the same and so is the washing area.
On busy nights you can use either of the cubicles. Muckraker has seen men budging into the women’s cubicle and vice-versa. “Hona le motho!” is a common scream in that toilet.
Muckraker has bumped into men with open zips and women pulling up their pants in the washing area. Women fixing their bras bump heads with men tucking in their shirts.
Whoever designed that toilet has a brain the size of the punctuation mark at the end of this sentence.
There are no words for those who thought it fit to be used by their patrons.
Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu
muckracker.post@gmail.com

 

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Muckraker

Is Kabi a real lekoloane?

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Is Kabi a real lekoloane? That is not a trick question so don’t bother scratching your stressed head.
Even the goats in Matatiele, where he is alleged to have been initiated, know he is not a real lekoloane.
They know what he did last December and are as disgusted as the other makoloane who rightly feel he has cheated his way to the title.

The Matatiele goats know that other initiates had to spend at least five weeks at the initiation school to earn the honour of being called a lekoloane.
The leadership of the national initiation committee says claiming to be a lekoloane after just 72 hours at an initiation school is “unacceptable”.
Muckraker will call it fraud until Kabi proves otherwise.
Muckraker is not saying this to humiliate Kabi. He is a good fella but the stubborn reality is that he didn’t complete the course and therefore has no business pretending to be qualified.
It’s not as if Kabi entered the school with credits from another school. There was no transfer letter.
If there is a letter he should name his former principal.
He cannot claim to have attended initiation classes through Zoom and then went to complete the course with some practicals for 72 hours. He didn’t do distance learning because initiation schools are not UNISA.
There is no crash course in initiation school. That he qualified for mature entry doesn’t mean he could just sneak into the school hours before graduation and then claim to be a certified lekoloane.
The issue is not whether Kabi believes he is a real lekoloane because that doesn’t matter. Being in a plane doesn’t make you a pilot even if you scream to be regarded as one.
Muckraker has visited NUL’s law school but cannot claim to be a lawyer. She has joined the wires on her phone charger but is no electrician.
The real Makoloane are furious because he has cheated his way to their title and wants to be treated as their equal. They are right. Yet what Kabi has done is more serious than stealing a title. He has corrupted the institution of initiation.
He had no excuse for pulling the 72-hour trick at the initiation school.
Parliament was closed, they had dismally failed to topple Uncle Sam and his party is dead. He cannot claim he was busy running the ABC because Feselady and her hubby are still in charge.
For the past week, Muckraker has been wondering why Kabi could deliberately inflict such dishonour on himself.
The answer is that Kabi is entitled like other politicians. He wants to have the best for his minimum effort.
They want to earn the best perks but still claim to be the people’s humble servants. They want the people to vote for them for merely being present or promising something.
When held to the highest standards they point to the incompetence of other politicians.
Their favourite refrain is “at least….”
Kabi desperately wanted to be a lekoloane but was not prepared to put in the work.
The second part of the answer is that Kabi, like other politicians, thought he could get away with it. It’s an attitude informed by the general contempt politicians have for those they believe are beneath them.
It’s just that he has underestimated the resolve of other initiates to protect their institution from fraudsters and imposters.
Now he will be remembered as a political leader who was caught, pants down, masquerading as a lekoloane. The national initiation committee has said he is not wanted near an initiation school and if he is seen in the vicinity he will be forced to repeat the course.
Muckraker thinks “repeat” is not the right word. He will be starting from Grade 1, doing the ‘a, e, i, o, u’ of initiation school.
Ouch!
Kabi is worse than a high school dropout because dropouts don’t show up for graduation.
He is worse than those who insist on using the honorary doctorate title because, at least, that title is given voluntarily. There is nothing called an honourary lekoloane. You are either or not.
Those who cheat in exams are way better than him because, at least, they would have attended classes and qualified for exams but are just too daft. Kabi didn’t attend classes or take the exam.
He just arrived when others were rehearsing their graduation songs, got himself smeared with ochre and proudly walked to the podium to be capped.
Kabi is welcome to call himself a lekoloane but he will be a lekoloane in his head and not to anyone else.
He might as well have spent the 72 hours plotting to topple Uncle Sam because he will never be a lekoloane even if he smears himself with a Maqalika of ochre and recites initiation songs a million times.
A man who is not initiated is called a leqai but what do we call one who tries to cheat their way to initiation?
Let’s call him a kabi. And that is a real title because it is earned. Finally, oh finally, Kabi has invented something useful. Hooray!
Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu
muckracker.post@gmail.com

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