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So what!



PUNCH a Mosotho and he will bellow. ‘M’e oe! But pinch him and he will use a gun or a knife to send you to meet your Maker.

Steal a few coins from him and he will dispatch you to your ancestors, pronto. Steal millions from them, like Simon Thebe-Ea-Khale did not so years ago, and they just cry with hands over their heads. That is just how we are.

We are incapable of reacting accordingly. We make mountains out of mole hills.
This month a non-issue has been sneaked onto the national agenda. Someone somewhere, possibly carrying an empty head or high on a Grade ‘A’ of something illegal, decided it’s time to kick up a fuss about the number of political parties in Lesotho.

Nyoe, Nyoe, nyoe, we have too many parties in this country, some of the excitable souls preached. Nyoe, nyoe, nyoe, nyoe they are a threat to our democracy. Blah, blah, blah Lesotho is too small for 26 or 27 parties.

Nyoe, Nyoe, they add neither grass nor trees to the political landscape. My foot! How such drivel gets concocted in someone’s head before it is emitted through the mouth is a mystery crying out to be revealed by the many ngakas and fake prophets who pervade our streets.

For the record, Muckraker cannot stand loudmouths except herself because she is a licenced blabbermouth. The uncertified chatterboxes in our midst have been manufacturing the brouhaha about Lesotho having too many political parties.

Behind this artificial storm is a flawed reasoning propped up by dubious examples.
America, they say with crimson eyes, has two parties for a population of 300 million. Look at Australia and the United Kingdom, the say with gusto as if they have been struck by a Eureka moment.
In their legendary naivety, journalists like to join the chorus. A discord that ruptures our eardrums is what we get.

Some have even written editorials about the issue. One columnist, who labours under the illusion that people still take her as seriously as she does herself, has been stuck on this issue like a broken vinyl.

Sadly, no one has bothered to whisper to her that it’s no longer fun. So what if there are zillions of political parties in a country of two million?

Ironically, that ‘so what question’ is one our so-called commentators, journalists, analysts and many of similar stripe have never bothered to ask. Yet it is the one that should guide every argument, article or radio programme.

The next time you find yourself being lured into such a mundane debate you must slap yourself and ask “So what?”

You see, democracy at its most rudimental level is about peoples’ choices. Therefore, anyone who sees something wrong with people forming political parties is a closeted dictator.
It’s worse when they claim to be democrats or have their own political party.  We can have political parties for rats, cows, pigs, goats and lizards.

Morons, idiots, psychos and perverts are allowed to form their own political parties.
Why should they not when there is no proof that those already leading the other parties do not fall into one those categories.

How would you define that bearded politician for instance? There is nothing to him apart from his well-documented grudge with the shaving machine. Give the man a razor blade, please!

Muckraker did not call the man any names. It’s just that it takes truckloads of courage to run a party whose only supporters are your relatives.

Still, that doesn’t mean his is a totally useless party or that it should be wiped off the face of this country or that parties that might turn out to be as pathetic as his should be clobbered before they are formed.

To do either of those would be to sabotage democracy as we know it. Methinks the number of political parties has nothing to do with the price of bread.

It is a pointless debate whose ultimate destination is boredom. After spending hours shouting our voices croaky over the issue we will find that we have achieved zilch. Zippo! It’s a shivoo that has no dancing, drinks, music or singing.

In this debate what moves is only time and not distance. The upsetting reality is that this is a ‘debate’ manufactured by pseudo-elites who have convinced themselves that they know what is best for the people.

Muckraker is talking about those poorly educated nincompoops used to lecturing villagers about everything. It turns out that the people who vote, those whose votes really decide who stays in State House, have no use for such tosh.

To them the noise from the pseudo-elites is just a fart waiting to be blown away by a breeze. That is because they know how to sift through the morass of political parties. They have the tenacity to hold their noses and dip their hands into the septic tank.

And even they pull out a maggot of a political party that is their business and choice. The pseudo-elites can eat their hearts out. The ‘experts’ can fume until donkeys are wearing miniskirts but that will not change a thing.

It’s not as if the big parties are offering anything substantial. They are all selling hokum.  Without exception, all are flogging warm water at a market. They are rotten fruits of nationalist and congress trees.

They all stink. Yeh, I said it! And all you can do is ask ‘who the hell does she think she is’ as if that will soothe your roiled heart. Keep at it for that is a national hobby: Asking for the credentials of those who have said something instead of looking at the import of what has been said.

We are a country that will investigate someone’s totem, sexuality, marriage status, academic qualification and even salary before we digest what he has to say.

The result is that we confuse status for substance, positions for qualifications and voyeurism for acumen.

Yet when more clowns want to climb this wagon of mediocrity we scream as if someone has set a fire on our behinds.

Right now there are those who are yelping incessantly about the number of political parties. Hooray, we have found more hogwash to keep our mouths busy.

Meanwhile those we elevated to be our leaders, whether in government or opposition, are busy bungling with vim. They are frog-marching this country to the top of Thabana-Ntlenyane from where they will shove it downhill.

That is what they have done exceptionally well since this country gained its right to have a flag, a national anthem and put a black face in the State House. They call it independence.
And what do we make of their tomfoolery? Well, we sing, dance, whistle and ululate. That is what we are in the political sphere: donors of votes and court jesters.

Let the silliness spread, unfettered. Years from now we will sit under a peach tree and ponder about where we went wrong.

Botswana and Namibia would have graduated into developed countries. All we will say is if, if, if and if.

We must pray that by then there will still be a country called Lesotho. Muckraker will not bet her last kobo on that one.

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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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