That Lesotho is a country of wonders has never been in doubt.
Our ancestors defeated the machine gun with only spears and ingenuity. We are probably the only country whose government has a five-year strategy on how to make its people suffer.
It’s as if some ministers earn bonuses for making the people miserable.
Look how a whole government once contrived to kill the thriving wool and mohair industry. All to benefit some broke rascal from China. They must have had a massive shindig when they heard the wool farmers squirming after the Chinese pretender looted their wool and paid them pennies.
We are the only country that asks its people to pray and fast for better lives while its MPs are lining their pockets.
Look how they fought tooth and nail to get the M5000-per month fuel allowances while giving starving people beans and phofo.
Now we know why they were hostile to the virtual sessions.
But if you want to see the wondrous wonders Lesotho has to offer just look at the list of registered political parties.
There were 104 parties at last count but you can be sure the number will exponentially rise as we get closer to the 2022 election.
The real juice is in their names.
Brace yourself for this is going to be a raucously hilarious ride. There is a political party called United Fatherland Front (UFF). If you think that is a queer name Muckraker will introduce you to another called Ha Re Eeng Basotho (HRB). Don’t you dare drop that jaw because the Pheleu Independent Party is there too. That is closely followed by Ke Nako Sehoai (KNS). While those tears of laughter are welling your shocked face Mathe-Maloli Liberal Party enters the ring. Now turn to your friend and ask: What is this woman from Mafube telling us? Well, she is talking about a party called Ba Reng Batho Party (BRBP).
If you are one of those quarrelsome scoundrels then the Utloanang Bohle Tokolohong Party (UBT) is for you. The White Horse Party (WHP) has ponies for those who want to move on from toxic relationships. This is not to say you should not fight for your relationships. The Tsebe Social Democrats (TSD) encourages listening. We are not done yet because in 2014 someone thought it was prudent to register the Hamore Democratic Party (HDP).
Boom! The hammer had landed on Lesotho’s political landscape. If you don’t know it then you are certainly not politically conscious or you are just oblivious to political earthquakes.
Stick to the Tjakopeli Movement Front (TMF) and the Basotho Alignment Party. The Khutlo Tharo Ea Matsekha (KTM) is available if you love history. Even Moses would not have predicted that one day a country in the belly of another country would have a party called Basotho Thabeng Ea Sinai Party.
Such things cannot be predicted even by those with divine anointing. Revered political philosophers would never have thought that the word ‘democracy’ would be combined with the word ‘wall’ to name a political party. Yet here we are, blessed with the Democracy Lebota Party.
Muckraker is not making this up. These are real names of political parties that want to lead this country. Formed by breasted women and bearded men. People with brains. Some have been blown away by the wind but the Mpulule Political Summit is still alive and kicking. Not that it was a game-changer by any stretch of the imagination. It exists because it can. Who votes for it is another matter.
The real shaker and mover was supposed to be the Young Game Changers Party registered in 2017. That they didn’t change much is because they were not as prayerful as the people at the Prayer Shawl and Light Political Party. It is not a mistake that its acronym is listed as PSL because, frankly, that is where you find some of the worst football in the world. What the South African teams play is not football but something close to it.
If you are the enterprising type Muckraker recommends the Yearn For Economic Stability which arrived in 2019. Maybe its founders were tired of the false promises from the Youth Opportunity & Network Alliance which had been sired two years earlier.
If all this makes you sick then you can puff long joints of matekoane at the Cannabis Economic Reform. You will be joining a party whose members and leaders have been getting stoned for the past three years.
But if all these parties are not worthy of your membership then stick to the popular ones that have been taking turns to ruin the country for decades. It is however possible that nothing will tickle your fancy. In that case, Muckraker recommends that you simply cry for your country. Oops, you might just be an unregistered member of the party the LA Cry Not Child formed in 2017. Its leaders will certainly sing you a lullaby.
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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