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The weeping continues



MUCKRAKER understands that there are many still inconsolable about their loss in the election.
The wounds are probably still festering, especially for those unceremoniously yanked off the feeding trough. Nothing is as painful as grieving on an empty belly.
What however boggles Muckraker’s mind is the delirious reaction of some congress leaders.
Instead of weeping in private corners they have setup camp at the marketplace to bellow.

Size Two is leading the heartbroken battalion that has now suspended all decorum befitting of its stature.
They have now dispatched a long and grumpy missive to SADC, spectacularly alleging that the election was rigged.

They allege that there was secret voter registration, vote buying, illegal voters and illegal transfer of voters from constituencies.
This is in addition to the bit about people being allowed to vote twice because indelible ink had run out.

The most outrageous one is that South Africans were shipped into Lesotho to vote. Those who dismiss these allegations as sour grapes are likely to be branded as zealots of the parties now in this 4×4 government.

That need not be the case because some things are so blatantly poisonous to swallow.
There is a truckload of curious things about the letter.

First, it starts with a sober preamble in which the congress parties say they accept the election result as “free and fair”.
That admission should have closed the matter because anything raised thereafter is only a side issue that will not change the fact that the election was free and fair.
In other words, the congress parties are complaining about the dessert and not the main course. The tummy is already full.
Second, the election could not be described as free and fair in light of what the shenanigans the congress parties allege.

That they make a battery of incidences of blatant rigging but still proclaim the election to be free and fair shows that they are not thinking straight.
They too are not convinced that they have a strong case. It makes them come across as sore losers desperate for attention.

Third, the congress parties do not seem to have an idea as to what they want done. They don’t suggest another election, perhaps, because they know it will not change much.
Fourth, this is probably the only time, since democracy arrived in Africa, that an incumbent government is accusing the opposition of rigging an election. Elsewhere it is the governments that are accused of stealing elections.
Yet in Lesotho we are being persuaded, unconvincingly so, to believe that the opposition had the means to nick votes.

Apart from just listing unsubstantiated allegations, the letter does not provide much evidence as to how this could have happened. It does not say there was any collusion between the opposition and the electoral commission.
Muckraker has questions of her own which she things SADC, if there are people with some matter in their heads in there, should ask the congress parties when it replies. Where was the government when this alleged chicanery was happening?

Since the letter does not say who did the thieving, are we to assume that the congress parties were also beneficiaries of stolen votes?
What evidence is there to suggest that those who voted more than once where opposition supporters? If indeed there was such rampant rigging how come Size Two and his people have not filed a complaint with the IEC and approached the court?

What the hell is the purpose of bolting to SADC with allegations that can be investigated internally? What can SADC do if it finds that there is even a particle of substance in the allegations?
Muckraker will tell you without blinking that no one in the congress movement will answer those questions.
That’s because Size Two and his comrades are not seeking redress but merely throwing a cat among the pigeons.
For as long as there are some fantastic conspiracies on which to clutch Size Two and his supporters are not going to walk away hands over head.
There is something about political conspiracies that makes them alluring.

Apart from helping soothe the pain they assist in dispersing blame for failure. Size Two and his people genuinely want to believe that this defeat had nothing to do with their poor planning and miscalculations.

To them it is inconceivable that voters would have rejected parties that gave them democracy, free primary school education, old age pensions and the school feeding programme.
So according to their narrative the people voted for the congress parties but their votes disappeared. Ideas don’t come this warped.

That letter is oozing with hypocrisy and irony.
It’s ironic that Size Two is writing such a humble letter to SADC when a few weeks ago he penned a bile-laced one to the same bloc. How times change.
One week you are haranguing SADC and the next you are seeking comfort in its arms. This is the same Size Two who said SADC was interfering in Lesotho’s internal affairs.
He is the one who reminded his then colleagues that Lesotho was not SADC’s playground. This is not the SADC we founded, he thundered.
It was one of the most belligerent letters Muckraker has seen in her years as a journalist.

Even in her days as a student activist Muckraker would not have added her name to such a letter. In the end Size Two came across as a cantankerous old man balking under pressure.
Muckraker finds it unbelievable that the man who wrote that letter is the holder of the pen that wrote the latest one.
In the latest one Size Two is grovelling.

As she read the letter Muckraker’s mind raced back to the 1994 hit song by Boyz II Men.
Can we go back to the days our love was strong?/ Can you tell me how a perfect love goes wrong? /Can somebody tell me how you get things back the way they used to be?/ Oh, God, give me the reason, I’m down on bended knees/I’ll never walk again until you come back to me, I’m down on bended knees.
It’s a love song but it works here too. SADC should tell Size Two to keep kneeling.

It will be remiss of Muckraker if she does not mention the scandalous event that happened at Uncle Tom’s inauguration.
A tractor was hired to carry a mock coffin draped in congress colours. The spectacle was meant to rile the congress supporters who had wisely stayed away from the stadium.
So without the congress supporters to mock it became futile to drag that thing around the stadium.

They were parading it for themselves and the diplomats attending the inauguration. We can say all we want about that circus but the truth is that it was below the belt.
Those who dragged that mock coffin were showing the world that even in victory they are incapable of humility.

You judge a people not by what they do as losers but as victors. There were a thousand other ways with which to mock the congress supporters.
The broader import of that spectacle is that it goes a long way to prove that we are immature and shallow.
We showed the world that we are beyond redemption as a country. The joke is on the country and not the congress parties.

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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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