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The mokulubete boys and girls



THE next ground-breaking study in Lesotho should investigate why decent men and women transform into idiots when they become ministers.

It’s as if they deposit their brains into a huge bin before getting into cabinet.
Smart people suddenly become dunderheads. The honest become pathological liars. The decent turn into arrogant morons.

And nearly all of them develop some nauseating mannerisms that make them look doubly foolish. Suddenly they want someone to open doors for them.
They can’t carry their own bags. They now have a pompous spring in the step.

They pretend to forget names of their classmates.
But it is the spectacle that happens when they are in a supermarket that tickles Muckraker. Last week Muckraker watched one minister walking in a supermarket with his bodyguards and aides. His hands were stuck in his pockets as the aide pushed the trolley. All he did was point at the things he wanted the aide to pick.

It was such a sad sight watching a man with an oversized suit pretending to have suddenly lost the ability to pick his own bananas and phoofo.
The aide dutifully obeyed the orders because he honestly thought pushing the trolley and picking groceries was part of his job.

It is weird that men and women who would haggle over the price of moroho with nkhono in the bus stop area are now behaving like kings.
Watching the drama, Muckraker could not help but notice the irony of it all.
Those with money and real power have no time to shop for tomatoes in Shoprite.

They simply send their maid to do the shopping.
So why do our ministers partake in such mundane activities like shopping for bread.

Well, the first reason is that they want to show us that they have arrived.
The second is that they fear that their aides will pinch their change.
Third, they really have nothing useful to do with their time. A minister is one of the most underemployed, overpaid and overrated civil servant.

Yet we should not be overly disgusted because such pretence will soon come to an abrupt end. In a few months these men and women will come back to Mother Earth. The poverty that comes with falling from power will drag then back to their senses, kicking and screaming.
They will soon be common Basotho men and women.

We will meet in the streets and shops. Together we will be checking the expiry dates of rice and milk at Chinese shops. We will all share the Mokhorotlo FOOT number plate. Power, as they say, is temporary. You can only rent it while waiting for the next tenant. The countdown has begun. Tiktoktiktok….

The transformation that happens when a politician becomes a minister is breath-taking. Men and women who were jostling for makoenya and chips at Monathi Café suddenly claim that such national delicacies give them a running tummy.

Those who grew up gulping mokulubete in Qaqatu wells walk around with bottled water. You can see from the way they sip from the bottle that this is something new to them.
They are used to kneeling on the banks of Senqu River imbibing the cloudy waters like cows. Little wonder that most of them are hopelessly incompetent.

The mind is traumatised by the sudden change in diet, manners and environment. At some point it shuts down and stops working.
Their bodies are shocked by the dramatic change in nutrition. It takes years for a body fed on hopose for 50 years to adjust to wine and whiskey.
A body used to sekopo needs time to adapt to bacon. The same applies when it changes from papa to avocado. It takes time to acquire and appreciate the taste of cheese. The transition from motoho to Ceres is not easy.

Sometimes the body is so shocked that it expands uncontrollably.
That, dear reader, is how ministers get from size 32 to 44 in weeks.
Some will take to the gym when their bodies start overwhelming them. You see them huffing and puffing on the treadmills while their bodyguards and aides mill around.

You want to laugh but then you realise that this is serious business. This is a man under pressure. You will be watching a man who forgot that food is not his friend.
A man whose body has been abused by food. A man burdened by the results of his gluttony.

All this is to say that being a minister comes with perks and a pack.
The perks are the good salary, allowances and a gang of aides.
The pack, of course, is the overflowing tummy.
And that all explains why nothing much happens in cabinet. Imagine where this country would be if all those in cabinet would work as hard as they did back in the villages.

This country would benefit immensely from a combination of little food and hard work. This recipe of too much food and little work is dangerous to the country. Luckily, the country doesn’t suffer alone. The ministers too will feel the impact of being indolent while chawing copious amounts of food. Fair and square!

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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