THE SADC Oversight Committee is here and we Basotho are excited like kids in a candy shop. Once again our opposition leaders and their supporters, both covert and overt, are going into frenzy.
Finally things are moving, so their warped reasoning goes.
They may be right. After all, when things have been stagnant for long any slight movement is considered progress. It just depends on how desperately you want things to move. Half a loaf is better than nothing, so they say.
But look a bit closer and you will see that the so-called progress is just an illusion. Given the debilitating history of the dialogue between the opposition and the government you can be sure this is the beginning of the first step forward that will be instantly followed by two backwards.
Muckraker cannot wait for the drama to start. Grab the remote, dim the lights and keep your paws in the popcorn jar because the blockbuster movie is just about to start.
Empty your bowel and bladder now because this is going to be one long comedy.
The actors are not amateurs. Remember they are the same group that has dominated our political scene for more than 15 years. They know how to keep us captivated with their high jinks, gerrymandering and tomfoolery. There will be screaming, shouting, insulting and kicking.
We Basotho will just stand there agog, waiting for a new twist in the plot.
Uuuuuu shame! Shame on you if you think this drama is going anywhere so fast. If you are that naïve then you can believe you are not your mother’s child.
We have been here before. Right here, in this madness. Welded right at the bottom of the gutter.
We think some committee brimming with functionaries from equally pathetic countries will clean us of the self-immersed morass. The woolgathering would be hilarious were it not a sad reflection of how low we have sunk.
Blinded by our naivety we will gossip about the so-called reforms till our voices are hoarse. We will speculate, postulate and predict.
Our pseudo analysts will go into overdrive theorising that which we know is silly even before they open their mouths. They are clever by half for we all know to whose drum they dance. Bum jive to the opposition’s drum.
Pantsula to the government’s accordion.
There are no political analysts in this country, just activists too cowardly to declare where their sympathies lie. They think we don’t see the bias dripping from their words, the shine in their words when they mention some political leaders and their exuberance in condemning others.
The zealots at Sparrows Bar will debate possible scenarios with unprecedented gusto.
Our airwaves will be polluted by comments from callers who suffer untreatable verbal diarrhoea.
Some will take to their fake friends on Facebook for titbits or anything they believe will make them sound smart when they open their mouths to say something about the reforms.
Muckraker will tell you today, without fear or favour, the noise over security reform is worth nothing more than a temporary comic relief from our miserable lives. Laughter is the best medicine! Ask Cura, my dear friend (is he finished, by the way, or nobody is hiring funny people these days?).
The real drama will start in the next few weeks when our political actors discuss the timeframe for the implementation of the reforms. We already know the opposition and the government are worlds apart when it comes to how long the reforms should take.
The government wants to drag the process as long as possible while the opposition wants it concluded at Makoanyane’s speed. The government wants it bit by bit like increments on civil servants’ salaries, small enough to calm them down and big enough for the government to pretend it is doing something.
The reforms should take about five years, says the government.
Holy dung, says the opposition which is convinced they should be done in 18 months. They are both wrong. The reforms should take no more than six months.
Muckraker did not have to do any research to come up with that figure, she just thumb-sucked it as the government and the opposition did on their own timeframes. You can bet your last penny that negotiating a compromise will take a few weeks.
Then there will be the usual brouhaha over what should be included in the reforms. That will be the crunch because every Thabo, Thabang and Khotso would want to sneak their silly idea onto the agenda.
The debate will not be based on what is good for the country but what those with vested interests want to achieve. Dubious and nefarious things will climb up the agenda, setting off firestorms that will put brakes on the talks.
The opposition is likely to walk out of the talks once or twice. That is their only strategy. They either walk or run away.
Civil society (whatever that name means) will throw tantrums while winking at their donors. They can crawl, crow, jump or bark for money (Muckraker has not compared them to prostitutes although there is no harm in doing so).
The coalition government will grumble like a jilted lover. It always does when it can’t get its way. Muckraker has never seen such a moaning government in her short years in this world.
Nyoe, the opposition! Nyoe, the media! Nyoe, SADC! Nyoe, the Americans! Nyoe, nyoe, nyoe, nyoe and nyoe. This is a government of fire-fighters, forever reacting to other people’s fires.
When it cannot douse the fires it just bellows, hands over hand. Cry-babies!
Journalists, the small-minded battalion of pen-clutching morons, will obediently scribble anything their masters drill into their empty heads.
When all is done there will be another twist to the drama. The Oversight Committee will report to King Mswati III, an unelected despot, in his capacity as SADC Chairperson. The committee monitoring reforms in Lesotho will report to a dictator who hates the word “reform” with passion.
Mention the word reform to King Mswati III and he will hit you with anything he can grab, even a knobkerrie or brick.
So a leader who cannot reform is supervising a committee on reforms. That is the real irony of it all. We are being monitored by a committee monitored by a leader who is hostile to any kind of reform. He cannot even reform his long fingers so they stop dipping into the national purse. He has failed to reform his roving eye so he stops accumulating wives as if they are cows.
Time and again he has crushed the opposition, harassed critics and clobbered opponents. King Mswati III is incapable of reforming.
He is just like another SADC buffoon called Robert Mugabe who is now failing to pay the army, his bulldogs. It’s shocking that Mugabe will have a say when Lesotho’s reforms are discussed by SADC. He is the grandpa of dictators in Africa and the master of vote rigging.
All those who think the army here needs to be reformed should go to Zimbabwe where senior officers attend Mugabe’s rallies and tell the opposition leader he will never rule the country because he did not fight during the liberation struggle.
Mugabe is broke because no one wants to lend money to a 92-year-old. War veterans, his hunting dogs for years, have now told him to go hang.
Muckraker pulled the middle finger on that one years ago. Then there is the enthusiastic thief next door. Uuuuuuuuuu shame!
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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