MUCKRAKER is a huge fan of Court of Appeal President Justice Kananelo Mosito. That he carries an outstanding legal mind on his shoulders has never been in doubt. Even his colleagues – some of whom curse the ground he steps on – begrudgingly acknowledge he knows his stuff.
But there is a difference between a mind that knows the law and one that knows life. For months Justice Mosito has shown that he is a master of the law and a novice at the subject called life.
How else can we explain his willingness to be bludgeoned by Size Two over a position for which he did not even apply? For being the president of the Court of Appeal Justice Mosito has been clapped, kicked and shoved. All because the person who appointed him lost an election.
For almost a year now Size Two has been chasing the poor judge all over town. He says Justice Mosito is a beneficiary of the madness Uncle Tom suffered during his last days in office.
On that one he may be right, although it may also be a case of a baboon calling a pig ugly. What gets Muckraker’s goat is that the poor judge actually thinks this is a battle he can win.
Not only that, he thinks after winning the fight he will get to work in peace.
The naivety here is astonishing. You see, there is nothing the judge can do to change Size Two’s heart. Size Two has not made it a secret that he wants him out pronto. He is neither scheming nor plotting against the judge. He is actively kicking the poor judge in the face while dragging him to the gate at the Palace of Justice.
Size Two has not only taken off his gloves in this fight, he has gathered weapons. He started counting Justice Mosito’s days in office from the day he walked back into the office after nearly three years in the political wilderness. As he said “I, Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili do solemnly swear that I will serve the country…” he was already looking for ways to throw the judge under the bus.
The sad part is that the judge doesn’t seem to realise that the outcome of this battle has already long been decided. He is playing a rigged game yet he thinks he still has a chance. This is where Muckraker says the judge is a greenhorn when it comes to life.
So what was the judge supposed to do, you may ask. The answer is that Justice Mosito should just vamoose. Not because he is incompetent or that he was not appointed properly. No. He should just hit the road because this fight is not worth it.
For starters, there can only be one loser in this battle and it’s going to be the judge.
Second, he is fighting a man with nothing to lose. Mosisili doesn’t give a rat’s behind what happens. As the battle drags on, thanks largely to the judge’s stubbornness, it is only the Mosito name that is being dragged in the mud.
Dirt has already started being thrown at him. They are pelting him with manure. His secrets are being sold in the streets of Maseru like moreana.
We did not know that he used to forget to file his tax returns until he refused to be yanked out of office. Bit by bit Size Two has been pricking the judge. Now he has set vicious dogs him.
Justice Mosito’s mistake has been to think this is a contest of equals. It is not and never will be. You don’t need to have reached Standard Six to see that the judge has taken a knife to a gunfight.
When the battle started the judge rushed to the courts to launch a plethora of cases. In the cases he accused the man from Tseolike of violating the law and acting unprodedurally. All of which might have been enough to spoil a reputation were he fighting a different opponent.
Size Two doesn’t give a hoot what is said about him because he has been called worse things. To call him a prime minister who violates procedure is actually a compliment.
In any case, there is no reputation to protect because it is either already squandered or, if there are remnants, it is of no use to him because he will not be seeking re-election. Remember too that Size Two is more interested in achieving what he wants and not what people say about him.
Justice Mosito cannot afford to be aloof to what people think about him. He still wants to be seen as an astute lawyer with an impeccable reputation. To preserve what remains of his reputation he should just throw in the towel and go back to his law firm to work on more important things.
In fact, he should have done that as soon as he saw Size Two charging at him like an angry bull. Then he would have been remembered as a judge who was hounded out of office. He would have been remembered as a poor judge who fell victim to political machinations. History always judges victims of political shenanigans favourably.
It would have been fathomable if Justice Mosito had at least won the battle on his own turf: the courts. Sadly, he lost horribly.
First the Constitutional Court told him to go hang. Then last week the Court of Appeal, the very court he leads, told him to find somewhere to play. His colleagues were particular scathing in their assessment of his case.
They tore him to pieces as if he was not one of their won. You could literally touch their contempt for his case. With his legal options exhausted the judge will still have to face Size Two who in addition to the power now has the law on his side.
Justice Mosito cannot say he was not given a chance to fight for himself. Armed with two judgements in his favour Size Two can gloat to his zealots that he is doing the right thing. The judge has been hoist by his own petard.
There is no ‘Lazarus moment’ for him. Henceforth he is at Size Two’s mercy. All this happened because the judge failed to read the game. He tried to fight a political battle using legal tools.
What is galling is that he was probably correct in his assertions that he is being targeted. He might as well continue to use the same claim to explain his troubles.
But having given his opponent an opportunity to be vindicated by two court judgements the judge is no longer in a position to shout as loudly as he would have done had he merely allowed himself to be pushed out politically.
The lesson: not all battles have to be fought. Sometimes victory is in giving up.
That is life, not law. Only aunty Muckraker can teach you that.
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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