ON what bomb are some political activists sitting? Some have been perambulating Maseru, armed with hare eng Thaba Tseka bags full of anger, insults and hate speech.
The other day one was having a go at United States Ambassador, Mathew Harrington. Frothing at the mouth, he said Harrington should be shown a shortcut to the nearest border. If the government doesn’t get him out then we will give him the boot, he said as he went for the jugular.
It is not clear who is included in the “we”. What is known for sure is that his mouth has been let loose. Muckraker hopes the excitable activist doesn’t have a puppet master in government. Yet even if he has, he is sure flogging a dead donkey.
Governments are not in the business of taking instructions from political activists bellowing on radio stations. Harrington will not vamoose no matter how loud the activist screams.
There is a horribly wrong perception that the US is desperate to have an embassy in Lesotho. It can do without us. The British left this country and lost nothing. The Irish packed their bags too and didn’t lose anything.
The relationship between the US and Lesotho has long ceased to be that of master and slave (if it was ever that). Muckraker thinks the relationship is more like that of a Sugar Daddy and a nyatsi.
For years the nyatsi has been spoilt rotten by the Sugar Daddy who has renovated her toilet, paved the road to her house and even built clinics for her clansmen. Remember the US$360 million compact Size Two once described as a gift from the ancestors as if our ancestors were ever that rich and generous.
The nyatsi has also been allowed to sell her hand-woven baskets in Sugar Daddy’s village without paying taxes (AGOA).
All these favours have helped the nyatsi grow rotund cheeks and a big bum.
Muckraker therefore doesn’t understand why the nyatsi wants to kick up a storm when the Sugar Daddy demands a little bit of manners and gratefulness. The Sugar Daddy is telling the nyatsi to stop spanking her children with a barbed wire whip and to keep the house clean.
Surely there is nothing wrong with a Blesser telling the Blessee to behave decently. After all, no Blesser blesses without demanding a little bit of say in the Blessee’s affairs.
The blessed loses some independence as soon as she receives the first blessing from the Blesser. The truth in this case is that the nyatsi is at the mercy of the Sugar Daddy.
She cannot send away Harrington, the Sugar Daddy’s representatives in her yard, simply because some talkative cousin is complaining bitterly. The nyatsi can pretend to resist but she knows the Sugar Daddy is in charge.
Are the opposition leaders coming back or not? Muckraker asks this question because of the mishmash of responses from the opposition camp. The problem with our opposition is that it is speaking with too many mouths.
Sister Rantso will open her mouth and say some weird things. She hardly ever says anything illuminating. What she does well is to waffle and complain.
She thinks attacking Size Two every time she opens her mouth will miraculously improve her perennially shallow ideas. The plumb one has never been known for her sophistication. She a simple-minded politician ill-prepared for the acumen that goes with the office she now holds.
True, exile has a way of sapping the energy of even the most vibrant of politicians but in Rantso’s case she was naïve and lethargic before she crossed Mohokare.
She remains unchanged and cannot possibly dream of being anywhere near power unless she clings on to the seams of Uncle Tom’s gown. It boggles the mind why she finds it prudent to open her mouth when she has very little sensible things to say.
Still she does it because it’s clear the opposition camp doesn’t have an official spokesperson.
Enter Cheese Boy, the garrulous spokesperson of the BNP, who has appointed himself spokesperson of the opposition. Journalists know Cheese Boy is not frugal with sound bites.
Thrust a microphone in his face and he will ramble on and on as if his mouth is connected directly to Muella Power Station. That Cheese Boy is confused has never been in doubt. What is startling is the vim with which he shares his confusion with others. He cannot be accused of being stingy when it comes to disseminating his confusion. Blame that on youthful exuberance.
Uncle Tom sleeps a lot these days but he remains capable of mumbling biting profanities when he comes back from dream land. He is a teammate to die for in an insulting match.
His only weakness though is that he tends to forget that the purpose of speaking is to convey a message. He insults when he should cajole and screams when he should whisper. The result is just high sounding words devoid of anything useful.
The only ray of hope in this muddle seems to be Molapo who usually comes up with something sober. Yet he too sometimes cannot resist the temptation to jump on the bandwagon.
The list of opposition spokespersons is growing by day. Just when you think you have managed to sift through the morass Brother Thesele will come up with his on load of baloney (you could say boloney if you want). The most toxic spokespersons though come from a battalion of self-appointed PR managers from the opposition.
All they have to do is find a naïve radio presenter to give them a platform to poop their drivel. Others simply punch a few keys on their computers and dispatch poison into the cyberspace.
The result is a seriously jumbled-up message from the opposition.
So who are we supposed to believe? Well, no one! Muckraker will believe the opposition leaders are coming when they cross Mohakare River. Until then she will just watch the stampede from a distance.
Muckraker is enraged by the shooting of Lloyd Mutungamiri, the editor of Lesotho Times. Such a heinous act is ample illustration of the moral deprivation that has now gripped our country.
At some point we have to draw the line: to say beyond here we cannot do worse, lest this country turns into a jungle that will shock even those perpetrating such violence.
Unfortunately recent history, together with its callous acts, has shown that there is very little to startle those behind such attacks.
It would seem that absolutely nothing will drag such people back to their senses. Each day we move closer to the crag, seemingly oblivious to the fact that we are only making things worse and ours is the only country that will lose. There are moments of madness in the history of any country.
This is our moment.
From it we will learn the value of living in peace and the beauty of tolerance. But to begin that education we should stop the madness first.
We shouldn’t have even started but because we did, through commission and omission, the onus is on us to stop. We owe it to ourselves to stop those behind such dastardly acts.
For that we look to the government from which we require collective action. Muckraker is cocksure that we should never travel the journey we have travelled for the past three years.
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.
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.
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!
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