SOME politicians are just unmemorable. That is why you have forgotten former communications minister Khotso Letsatsi. He was an excuse of a minister and an overly haughty fellow who was gifted with a huge dose of arrogance.
You are instantly forgiven for consigning him to the trash bin of your memory.
Journalists will however remember him for his frolics in interviews.
He would harangue reporters who call him when he is having dinner or bathing. Yes he didn’t tolerate those who interfered with his papa ka lepu and basekomo.
With a shrieking voice Letsatsi would ask a journalist what time of the day it is.
Then as the journalist is fumbling for answers he would just go berserk, screaming about ethics and manners. Most scribes would instantly withdraw to their shells like tortoises and grovel as if they had sinned.
That is what Letsatsi thought would happen when he extended his monkey shines to Muckraker a few moons before his government expired.
Muckraker had called to clarify some issues for her esteemed column but Letsatsi hit the roof without provocation or, at least, a warning.
“What kind of a journalist calls a minister at this time? I have since left the office. You should understand that I am busy eating my dinner at the moment,” Letsatsi thundered as if Muckraker was asking about some hanky-panky business.
Muckraker let him have his brief moment of fame before she severely severed his wings with a hacksaw.
Muck: Minister, are you eating with your ears?
Letsatsi: Obviously not, but why are you asking such a silly question?
Muck: Well, you are refusing to listen because you are having dinner. I see no connection?
Letsatsi: I am only asking why you are calling when I am having dinner.
Muck: I heard that. Do I cook for you or live in your spare bedroom?
Letsatsi: That’s another silly question. What has that got to do with anything?
Muck: Well, I am wondering how I would know that you are eating if I didn’t cook for you and I don’t stay with you?
Letsatsi: But that is obvious because it’s at night.
Muck: Well, what is obvious is that you don’t know your job. When can we meet for some free orientation?
There was a long pause from Letsatsi before he dropped the call.
Muckraker thought Letsatsi would be on the path to rehabilitation after she chopped off his wings. And indeed the man seemed to mellow and rediscover his good manners in the weeks thereafter.
But a few months later Letsatsi returned to his snooty ways with gusto.
The first time Muckraker saw Letsatsi’s wings flapping again was when he was flying into a storm about Facebook and Whatsapp.
Stung by allegations on the social media platforms, Letsatsi had conjured a doubly daft idea to close Facebook and Whatsapp.
What got his goat was what he called fake rumours being flogged on social media by a cabal that wanted to sabotage the government.
It however did not take long for Letsatsi to come to ground with a thud after his plan collapsed.
It is not clear what wall he hit in his endevour.
He might have just come back to his senses or someone dragged him by the ears back to his senses, kicking and screaming. It could be that someone at Facebook and Whatsapp, flatly refused to indulge his tomfoolery before showing him his way back to sobriety.
With reality sinking in, he watched as his government was bludgeoned on social media by a mob of cyber thugs who have no time to pursue facts or logic.
Eventually his government crumbled under the weight of propaganda. Today they continue to grumble.
It is ironic that Letsatsi now wants to earn a living from anything that resembles media. His newspaper now pinches things from social media to construct stories.
Not that there is anything terrible about ogling the social media for news tips. It’s just that if someone had not slipped some ‘chill pills’ in his drink and told him to calm down Letsatsi would have closed social media in Lesotho.
The irony however does not end there. While Letsatsi was threatening to throttle social media his bosses were winking.
One of those who allowed him to entertain nefarious thoughts of closing Facebook and Whatsapp was DJ Waters, aka Mothetjoa Metsing, who was deputy prime minister.
There is no evidence to suggest that DJ Waters whispered some wise words into Letsatsi’s ears when he started waffling about closing social media.
You can thus imagine Muckraker’s horror when she received a Facebook friendship request from DJ Waters a few weeks ago. She hit the ‘Accept’ button to walk into DJ Waters’ zone.
DJ Waters was in his element as he sought to dig himself out of the morass of propaganda under which he was spectacularly buried by Uncle Tom, his supporters and his running dogs in the media. The same Facebook Letsatsi was in a stampede to muzzle is now DJ Water’s sanctuary.
DJ Waters is using the page to fight back at the ‘misinformation’ Uncle Tom and his cahoots have allegedly used to soil his name.
It doesn’t take a sophisticated mind to cut through this hypocrisy.
His plan, as it would seem, is to undo the damage one post at a time and hope people are reading his words.
The problem, though, is that he is cherry-picking the questions he wants to answer while pretending that the fat nasty enquiries are not being asked.
The result is that the man is talking to himself and a small battalion of bootlickers hoping that they will be perched near the feeding trough when Uncle Tom’s government kicks the bucket.
So as you read the posts you bump into some replies from talented praise singers who think flattery is the highway to DJ Waters’ heart.
Sadly, such tactics will not help their leader because they are not thrusting him on a wheelbarrow to redemption. DJ Waters needs tough love for him to repent.
Until that happens the man will not accept that he had a hand in the chaos that almost pushed this country over a cliff.
He will keep insisting that he is an innocent victim being persecuted.
The idea is never to accept any culpability and hope that history will be rewritten to turn villains into heroes and heroes into villains. He hopes time will pillage our memories of the sad chapters in which he was part of the writing and editing team.
Predictably, none of his Facebook friends have asked him if he regrets some of his decisions when he had power. Crucially, not one has asked him to read a bit about Karma.
Karma, as many might know, is a bitch. Many will remember how DJ Waters would laugh off Uncle Tom’s complaints when he was wallowing in poverty.
As Uncle Tom languished in exile DJ Waters was having a blast as deputy prime minister.
When Uncle Tom said he was fleeing for his life DJ Waters said: Le balimo b’a tseba hore ’muso ona oa rōna o tšabang Molimo o keke oa bolaea esita le ntsintsi. E ka re le ’na ke le tjee ke tšaba ho hlaba le khōhō ena e pala. (Even the ancestors know that this God-fearing government of ours won’t hurt even a fly. I for one have never cut a chicken).
Of course people were being killed, abducted and tortured.
Uncle Tom said he missed home and DJ Waters said: Ha ho na le ho reng teke! Ho ’na mona. Haeba a n’a batla hotla hae, e k’e b’e le khale a itse batha! Mona. Ho pepenene hore o iketse phomolong, o ja pooqo-ka-hlanaka mono (I am not confused. If he wanted to come home he should have been here by now. It is clear he is enjoying his holiday).
Today he is using Facebook to tell his followers how terrible it is to be living in a foreign land, away from family, relatives and countrymen.
When Uncle Tom appealed to SADC for help DJ Waters said: Le Ramaphosa oa tseba hore ’muso ona ke ona ’moulo o palamisang baetapele ba khutlelang hae (Ramaphosa knows this government is working like a mule to bring back those exiled leaders).
DJ Waters would neither hear nor see evil.
To DJ Waters those crying about misrule were bohola sa ntja e amohuoe lesapo (‘barking dogs bitter that they had been kicked off a bone).
Ha ke bonolo ke thupula. Ba reng ke khoaetse mabotho ke masea-qheme a nchebang ka le molèka feela ha ke khaba (I am as soft as wool and as cool as a cucumber. Those who say the army is under my bums are traitorous souls that don’t know goodness when they see it).
The point here is that DJ Waters’ Facebook page will not help him in his repentance or us in understanding what went wrong.
All we hear is DJ Waters saying is: Ha kea phela mehleng ea Jesu e leng hore nke ke ka bua ka bohalaleli ba hae. Ke phela mehleng ena ’me kea tseba hore pelong ho ’na ke mosoeu toa! Joaloka lehloa holim’a Thabana-Ntlenyana. Nka ’na ka ba mabatha mona le mane feela le tsebe hore ke ’na tjaka tlhoka-koli eo e leng khale le e letetse. Ke ’na enoa. (I didn’t live in Jesus time so I cannot speak about his piousness. I am living today and I know that my heart is as pure as the snow atop Thabana-Ntlenyana. Yes, I don’t sin here and there but people should know that I am the perfect one they have been waiting for. I am the one.)
He is sure walking down the garden path alone. Alone in the wilderness.
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!
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.
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.
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