ANYONE who has lived in malaeneng knows of the scary and bizarre things that make it to those communal washing lines.
It was Muckraker’s pastime, back in the days, to sit on her door and watch the tatty underwears that are hung on those lines.
They come in all shapes, colours and sizes.
You get those so worn out that they are begging for a break and those so big that you can make a whole blanket out of them.
But the most hilarious part will always be the way the owners tried to cover them with towels.
They always hide them deftly so that the gaping holes are not visible to the unsuspecting eye.
But sometimes those undergarments would have seen so many better days that not even a blanket would cover their holes.
Muckraker recalls how one maid almost lost her job after she hung the madam’s tattered underwear near the gate.
Phew! It was a colossal pair that one. So riddled with holes that you would think someone had unleashed a jackhammer on them.
How such a torn thing could still hold together the madam’s sacred things we may never know. Suffice to say that she was still holding on to it even as its threads had long surrendered.
A nasty rumour from the wicked neighbours was that the madam liked it dearly because it was a Valentines’ present from one of her numerous lovers.
The undies reminded her of the days when she was petite enough to be called “sweetie”, they opined in hushed tones.
Muckraker swears she never said a word during those gossip sessions for she understood that food is never a good friend to a body.
Keep your nose in the fridge and confuse ciders for water if you want to see what she is talking about.
Madam however deserves some credit for unashamedly holding on to her relic even as gossips and naughty rascals from the village mocked it openly.
“You are finished like the madam’s underwear,” said one boy to a friend he was just about to defeat at a morabaraba game.
“Your face is as old as madam’s undies,” said one girl to a boy who had just said terrible things her nose.
Although such barbs eventually reached the madam’s ears she stood by her undies.
And who can blame her: we all have one of those pairs we cannot let go. Muckraker has one she has been holding on to since Uncle Tom formed the Yellow Plant.
The reason: good things always happen to her when she wears them.
When days are bad that pair has a way of soothing her.
The memories of madam’s legendary underwear came racing back to Muckraker’s mind last week when she heard how Size Two had spanked Mokola in the Constitutional Court.
The ruling was emphatic both in its endorsement of Size Two and its crushing blow on Mokola.
In short, the three judges said Mokola and his executive committee gang were power thieves masquerading as heroes.
They said Size Two was the Alpha and Omega of that party.
The party was his and Mokola and his gangs were tenants without a lease.
With that Mokola’s hectic pace towards the State House has come to a screeching halt.
His ambitions have been put on a backer-burner and there is not even a shred of evidence that they may be revived anytime soon.
Like the madam’s tattered underwear Mokola has been hung out to dry.
He is hanging by the eyelids. Bereft of the beloved DC Mokola is on a home straight to become a political nonentity.
The hell he put Size Two through over the past three months now seems like a church picnic compared to his new troubles. Banana peels have been offloaded on his path to the State House.
Poor Mokola does not have much room to manoeuvre even if he hires Sandawana.
Whatever route he takes leads only to a slippery slope into the political gutter.
Unless the crocodile from Machache has one more trick up his sleeves it is difficult to see how he can wriggle his way out of Size Two’s shackles.
He is no Scott so he cannot Vaseline his way out of this quagmire.
That much was clear at a subdued press conference he held this week to announce his defeat and hint at how he will be licking his gaping wounds in the next few days.
Looking sullen, he said he will form his own political party. Good for him. The problem though is that his will be just a fringe party devoid of substantial numbers.
Muckraker is tempted to tell him to join the Yellow Plant but that too might not be an attractive option. It’s a path that still leads to political oblivion. Uncle Tom hates competition and is never one to embrace political refugees unless they bring battalions of voters with them. Even if Mokola brings a few busloads of supporters Uncle Tom would insist that he starts at the bottom. They call it the grassroots in African politics. This is not 2006. Uncle Tom has the numbers that give him political virility. He has not come this far by kissing political opponents and is not about to make that mistake. Without the DC brand Mokola will be a squatter, a thief of scarce oxygen.
It’s not that Mokola did not have a game plan when he started harassing Size Two. He just did not think Size Two would be so shrewd.
You see, history has shown that Size Two is a runner. Size Two was on the tracks way before Usain Bolt started breaking world records.
He ran from the BCP with his political godfather Ntsu Mokhehle in 1998. In 2012 he vamoosed from the LCD when Metsing got up to his monkeyshines.
So Mokola thought that trend would continue if he lit another bonfire on Size Two’s behind. Only this time the Tsoelike man said nada. He was not going to bolt out of the house he built. Besides, he is no longer a spring chicken so running would not get him far.
His only option was to rummage through his library for the DC constitution. And there it was in black and white: the party is like his personal property.
He can fire and hire depending on his mood. Those who wrote the constitution were determined to build a wall around him.
No longer will the leader go through the nerve-jangling moments he had when Metsing pulled a fast one on him.
So Size Two watched as Mokola and his cahoots plotted their way out of the party.
They were marching down a blind alley. Sensing an easy victory, Mokola and his people pulled the party from the coalition government, eloped with Uncle Tom and suspended Size Two. Only then did the Sesotho teacher show his claws and by that time Mokola had played all his cards.
You can be sure that Mokola’s people will insist that the judgement changes nothing and that the special conference held over the weekend is a sham.
It is the same thinking they relied upon when they started this battle. They were too engrossed in their pursuit for the control of the party that they forgot to read the constitution.
Those who dismiss recent events do so to alleviate the pain of defeat and minimise Size Two’s political prowess. This time he has clobbered them.
He has the DC in his bag and has swallowed the keys to Parliament.
He told the DC supporters who came to the special conference that he is going to call an election if Mokola ties any funny tricks in a parliament.
Mokola and his people cannot yank him out of power unless they do it through the ballot. And therein lies Mokola troubles: for the first time in his illustrious political career he will have to stand on his own. The voters will have to judge him as Mokola the leader and not Mokola the follower. Forming a new party takes him out of his comfort zone.
He has to show that his claim to fame has nothing to do with those he followed but everything to do with his own skills. We will see if Mokola is a real crocodile or an overrated lizard.
Muckraker will be disappointed if it turns out that Mokola is a lizard. This was a man who has told us that he can chew and spit out political opponents.
Phew! Kkikikkikkikiik. The daughter of Mafube is laughing all the way into Christmas.
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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