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The feasting ones



Let’s start with a story from malaeneng in Thamae.
’Mamojakisane, the compound’s chief gossipmonger, sees a pastor coming out of ’Makhotso’s room.
’Mamojakisane rushes to ’Makhotso with her ears pricked. ’Mamojakisane: My friend, this is the fourth time I have seen the pastor coming out of your house.

’Makhotso: So?
’Mamojakisane: Ah, have you started a church?
’Makhotso: I have seen the barman coming out of your house for months now. Is your house a bar now?
’Mamojakisane retreats to her room with her tail between the thick legs.
The simple lesson here is that you must mind your own business.
The pastor could have just been discussing tithes with ’Makhotso.

Perhaps the barman was teaching ’Mamojakisane to make cocktails.
Think what you may but we will never know what happened behind those doors.
If you suspect that there was some hanky-panky then you are probably a pervert.
Wink, wink and wink.

The more complex lesson, however, is that things are not always as they seem.
And that is the pith of this article.
We knew, as early as five months ago, that the Covid-19 storm was coming.
Yet instead of scrambling for solutions and resources, we established the so-called Command Centre.

Civil servants and ministers galloped to the centre to pretend to be busy on strategies.
It was later revealed that they were just misdirected busybodies out of their depth.
Unable to come up with a coherent plan to ‘command’ the disease, the gang took out their frustrations on food.

And boy did they eat like pigs. It instantly became a Command Centre of Feasting.
They quickly forgot the task at hand and loaded their tummies with samp, papa, potatoes and pork.

Within weeks some were so fat that they couldn’t walk or think properly. Not that it was a congregation of thinkers in the first place. They were what we could get from the chaff. You work with what you have.
We however didn’t expect them to put on rotund cheeks and potbellies while Covid-19 cases were mounting.
People were not being tested.

The masks and testing kits from some well-wishers were being stolen hand over fist. Thousands were starving in their homes in the name of a national lockdown that was a sick joke.
Meanwhile, the ’Manthabiseng Convention Centre’s septic tank was flooding while the core business was left undone. Instead of a national strategy we were only occasionally treated to some shabby press statements so convoluted that only a prophet could decipher their meaning.

Remember the lesson: things are not always as they seem. For months, the government told us that it had everything under control. We now know that they were telling blue lies.
Physics tells us that work done equals distance moved over time.
Activity without progress is therefore not work.

We should therefore not wonder why we are in the throes of a Covid-19 tsunami.
We are unprepared because some people were feasting for months.

We must get a few things right before stampeding to condemn those who worked at the Command Centre of Feasting. People, by nature, don’t like working.

What they really want is the money. So if they can pretend to be working and still get the money they will do it.
Nyoe, nyoe, nyoe, I am a workaholic. My foot!
You are struggling to finish the work because you have been promoted to your position of incompetence. Or you are just battling for relevance. Or you have a terrible team around you. Or you are just incompetent.

Let not the nonsense about passion, drive and work ethic fool you. Never! They are all excuses to justify more moolah. That is why such rosy statements are targeted at bosses and those who decide what you earn.
Those at the Command Centre of Feasting were in it for the money.

You will be an unmitigated dunderhead to think they cared about the country. A real patriot doesn’t enjoy tea that costs M120. They don’t eat a M300 lunch when the people are starving. They will never be anywhere near a M300 dinner during a crisis.

All this is to debunk the nonsensical notion that those at the Command Centre of Feasting should have focused on the task at hand.
We should therefore not be shocked that they behaved like rats unleashed into a granary.

And there is only one reason for their unbridled gluttony.
The county did not have a government from January to early May. We had something that tasted, felt, looked and smelt like a government.
But the reality was that it was not a government but a conglomeration of squabbling zealots fighting to keep their loud mouths in the pot.
Each party was playing its own games.

The ABC people were busy beating each other to pulp. Some were clinging on to the Feselady’s skirts. Others were bellowing from the Professor’s corner.
The ADs were doing what they know best: making money while the sun shines. They were wise enough to know that only strangers benefit when brothers fight.

So they stuffed their mouths while pretending to be the most organised group in the dysfunctional coalition government.
The BNP was busy fanning the fires while also preparing to jump ship when the manure hit the fan. When 30 000-something is all you can win out of a possible 500 000, you must always have a plan B.

Look at them now as they ride on the new horse. It doesn’t matter that this is a two-legged horse. The last one was dead.
Don’t you dare ask what the RCL was doing. Those are just a confused lot and we cannot blame them.

It happens to anyone who stumbles into a ministerial position. They spent the past two years pinching themselves to confirm that they were still in government.
When your supporters cannot fill a 4plusOne you have to run like a headless chicken.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

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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!

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu

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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.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu

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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.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu

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