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MUCKRAKER would like to put it on record in red ink that she vehemently opposes the decision to charge her child, Scrutator, for criminal defamation. Scrutator appeared in court on Tuesday to face one charge of allegedly defaming Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli.

The prosecution alleges that Scrutator, a naughty child Muckraker is sometimes proud to have sired some eight years ago, defamed the General in a satiric column on June 23.

Muckraker will not repeat the article word for word lest she also joins her offspring in the dock. It’s enough say the article in question was a biting one that left the General bruised.

In it Scrutator tells a fictitious story, with some tired syntax at times, of how the commander bursts into a cabinet meeting, frogmarches Size Two and his ministers into the grounds at the State House.

It says he then ordered them to strip their shirts off to do some press-ups.

She then describes, in such specific details as if she was a witness, how some of the ministers fared in that forced gym session. There were six packs, pot bellies, heavy breathing and even fainting, according to the imaginary story. Half way in the article she says the General then ordered the ministers to carry him on a makeshift throne. There was a bit of skirt-lifting from the female cabinet ministers, according to the story.

Muckraker laughed her head off after reading that article. It had a hilarious element to it and clearly showed that Scrutator had absconded some few lessons on how to cover your behind when poking fun at those who can make you scale the mountain like a baboon.

The story could have been handled with much more prudence and finesse. You can bite without being brutal. There is no need to behave like a crocodile that shakes a prey that is already in the jaws.

Still it was a decent attempt, never mind that the daughter sometimes forgets that full-stops and not comas is what makes sentences sharp. It matters not that Scrutator had forgotten that anger is for the slow-minded and a satirist should never immerse herself in the story.

It is the sophisticated aloofness to the drama around her that keeps the satire flowing. Fodder for satire comes to those who stand at a vantage point while the drama unfolds, not the participants. The truth is that Scrutator might have put a toe beyond the parametres of her satirical yard.  She trespassed.

But that doesn’t justify dragging her by the ears to the courts using an “I-have-got-you” section of the Penal Code. Muckraker can think of a zillion of worse things that have been said about the General on radio stations, in bars, on social media platforms and in newspapers. And those things were not said in a satiric column like Scrutator but as a matter of fact.

Surely Scrutator must get some credit for at least wrapping her jabs in a veil, no matter how thin it was. In any case, the criminal defamation law the prosecution is using is a relic of the colonial area.

Progressive countries have consigned similar laws into the legal dustbin. Even the one north of us and is run by some deranged old man who became a grandpapa at the age of 92, had the courage to strike criminal defamation laws off its books.

Surprised that I am defending a rival columnist? Well even a delinquent child deserves a mother’s support. Muckraker sincerely hopes Scrutator will not be screwed on this one.

khoabane thekoChief Khoabane Theko is a man of many bile-laced words. He is a grouchy chief with a short fuse.

A cantankerous character who never shies away from fights, whether petty or real. In fact the smaller the matter the more annoyed he gets.

Prick him slightly and he will demand a pound of flesh. He will bash you with both words and fists. That is just who he is and many have come to accept him as such: a garrulous chief with a short temper.

Sometimes you shudder at his propensity to swim in the gutter cheerfully, especially when he opens his mouth. Yet even with that porcupine spirit we have made space for him in our hearts, reluctantly conceding that royalty is not akin to class.

Of that, some of us have never been under any illusion. There is nothing to be gained by disowning your chief just because sometimes his mouth sprints away from his brain like Usain Bolt.

After all, he was not appointed but bestowed upon you by lineage. We have embraced this shrub with its sweet fruits and horrid thorns.

Muckraker gave up trying to change Chief Theko many moons ago. He is zealously adamant in his waywardness and insolent in his stubbornness. Unlike other people he cannot be fired. Good for him.


What Muckraker will not accept though is the prating chief’s ego which he insists others must feed to his content. A few weeks ago he went haywire after Home Affairs Minister Lekhetho Rakuoane forgot to stroke his ego at a private function in Thaba Bosiu.

What incensed the chief was that Rakuoane had not recognised his wife. The minister made the mistake of asking who the chief’s wife was: a cardinal sin, according to Chief Theko who suffers under the crummy notion that everyone should know his family members.

When news of that probing question from the minister reached him the chief was inconsolable. Rumour has it that he was apoplectic with rage.

The minister had pulled the middle finger at the owner of the Thaba Bosiu kingdom (kikikikikkikiki, let the daughter of ‘MaMuckraker laugh louder that a monkey). He had peed into the village well and was making funny faces at the chief instead of walking with his lawyer hung on his shoulders.

So when he stepped into a meeting at the Senate a few days later the minister found the chief ready to wallop him with a salted sjambok. Rakuoane did not know what hit him. One minute he was all bubbly and the next he was crawling under the tables, with the chief unleashing terror on his well-nourished skin.


First the chief accused the minister of snubbing him. But before he could respond the chief was laying more charges on him.

The minister had not recognised him in absentia, he forgot to remind the organisers to give him a blanket and disrespected him, the chief fumed. Worst of all, the chief thundered, the minister asked his wife who she was.

“Asking her who she was, was very arrogant. You could at least have asked some people who were there with her, or asked her privately after the event,” the chief said.

Futho Hoohlo, the vice-president of the Senate, tried to put out the fire but the chief told him to put down his behind. Take your nose out of our business and go find somewhere to play, the chief said to Hoohlo.

Hoohlo obligingly deposited his behind back into a chair like a nincompoop depositing his money into MMM. And there his behind remained, firmly stuck like the MMM riches that never came.

He promptly zipped his mouth, leaving a shell-shocked Rakuoane to defend himself from the barrage of attacks from the chief. Nothing the minister said could make the chief let up.

The chief, of course, is not one to be bothered by the dictates of decorum. Civility is just a nuisance never to be allowed to get in the way of a good fight. Had he any semblance of shame he would have realised he was kicking up a fuss over nothing.


That Rakuoane did not recognise his wife is not a crime because the chief has never put up a billboard in Maseru to show her off to all. She doesn’t have a “T” on her forehead to show that he is Chief Theko’s wife.

And even if she is tattooed with such, it is not his business when people fail to recognise her. The price of bread won’t come down because a minister memorised the face of a chief’s wife.

Chief Theko should abstain from taking himself too seriously because he is just a chief of Thaba Bosiu. He rules there, not all over. His subjects are the people of Thaba Bosiu only.

This business of flaunting his weight has to stop because next time he might not face softies like Rakuoane. It was such a sorry sight, watching Rakuoane trying to speak sense to a chief who didn’t give a rat’s behind about his explanation.

Were it Muckraker she would have simply jumped outside and invited the chief to a quick exchange of blows. The problem with the chief is that he likes to pick fights with people who have something to lose. Next time his hands start itching to him something the chief should just email Muckraker on .com.

The invitation should be copied to the Commissioner of Police and Lesotho Funeral Services because Muckraker is a thug with no drop of royal blood in her. Justice Peete should also be present so he doesn’t require witnesses when the matter comes to court. Muckraker is a commoner who doesn’t suffer unmitigated fools.


So someone at Lefa, that pathetic excuse of a football association, has decided to pummel each Likuena players with a M9 000-gift. That is the reward to our team for reaching the quarter finals of some fringe regional football tournament called Cosafa.

On the way to the last four they beat Malawi, Angola and Mauritius, countries known for playing something that looks like football.

But that reality could not stop Lefa from celebrating like a kid in a candy shop. Journalists, quick to extract some positives out of what has been a sorry story for years, were at hand to help Lefa crow.

Given the frenzy you would be forgiven for thinking little Lesotho had won the World Cup.  Lefa’s functionaries were on a roll. This was the beginning of a new era, they said as if we don’t know they have never found the magical key to lock Miss Mediocrity in a vault.

We all know, as baboons do, that mediocrity always has a way of escaping so it can embrace us with passion. We are so in love with Miss Mediocrity, such that when she is temporarily away we yearn for her. So we count the days when she will be home to put our heart at ease.

To reassure us that when it comes to football we are just wretched. What keeps us going is our fervent belief in our incompetence.

We may celebrate minor sparkles of brilliance but we all know that after weeks we will always revert back to what we know best: mediocrity. Mediocrity is ours to keep like an inherited goat.



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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.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu

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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.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu

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Rough riders



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!

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu

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