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WE have known for years that Lesotho is overflowing with incompetent and lazy people. We have some of the most inefficient textile factories in the world. Our bureaucrats behave like they are being forced to work. The private sector is pathetic even though it thinks it is better.

But as with everything in this country, the debate about lazybones and dunderheads in our offices has been directed at a soft target: civil servants. The sad truth is that people in our offices, either private or public, are hopelessly incompetent and indolent.

And that is not a generalisation but a reality we have denied for years. The irony is that the bashing of civil servants is led by politicians, the very people who are gurus of incompetence. Politicians have made it their pastime to remind us that civil servants are a slothful lot.

Ministers have no qualms lynching civil servants to score cheap political points.

MPs join the bandwagon from time to time. The hypocrisy, especially on the part of MPs calling civil servants lazy, is annoying. More than a year after elections Parliament is yet to discuss any fundamental issues.

Laws drafted years ago are gathering dust at Parliament while our MPs rub their fat tummies and wipe their rotund cheeks.

Muckraker has been itching to understand what MPs really do when they get to parliament. The answer came from one of their own, Sam Rapapa, who complained that parliament has been turned into a church.

“We are just continuing to come here to pray and then go back irrespective of urgent motions to discuss those issues,” Rapapa said. “We are now aware that we are merely coming to church to pray and then go back despite that there is business to do”.

So there we have it: the people we pay thousands every month to make laws and run this country are spending all their time on prayers. We even give them interest-free loans which they don’t want to repay when they are yanked out of the parliament before their terms end.

What gets Muckraker’s blood boiling is that the MPs don’t see the scandal in their actions.

If we wanted pastors for MPs we would not have spent millions on an election that was not due. Rapapa deserves praise for complaining about turning the MPs into prayer mantises. But we should not forget that the motive of his whinging is not entirely genuine. He is fuming because the MPs are praying instead of discussing the return of opposition leaders who have been rotting in exile for close to a year.

Put simply: Rapapa has woken up from a slumber because his leaders are affected.

Notice too that he is not talking about discussing issues but three people. It would not be unfair to suppose that if the issue of the exiled leaders was not on the agenda Rapapa would still be sleeping and praying like many of his comrades in parliament.

But before we clobber the MPs we need to understand that they are not an exception.

The problem in this country is that it has too much prayers and very little common sense. We seek divine intervention when we should be using our brains.

We invoke God at every turn. That is why in times of trouble were fall to our knees when we should be standing firm. You see this affinity for prayer at almost every function in this country. We start everything with prayer. Even nocturnal meetings to plan the demise of opponents start with brief prayers.

If prayer was so powerful this country would be one of the richest and most peaceful in the world. We live in a country where companies have been replaced by churches, some of which are owned by crooks masquerading as pastors.

Close to 90 percent of Basotho say they are Christians. What happens to their many prayers is not clear.

There must be some evil person intercepting prayers from Lesotho because the more we pray the more trouble we get. Perhaps the reason why we don’t get any returns from our investment in praying is because we are generally insincere people.

We say things we don’t mean, make promises we can’t deliver and testify to things we have not seen. We are always scheming against each other even though we are related. It must be confusing to whoever receives our prayers.

At what point does he know that we really mean what we say.

Muckraker has had it to the back teeth with the mundane business of beauty pageants in Lesotho.  ‘Miss’ this, ‘Miss’ that. Nyoe, Nyoe and Nyoe. What the pageants are meant to achieve, you never know.

But behind the persistent charades are tall tales about promoting something and building confidence in young women.  It’s all based on a discredited and patently warped notion that a beautiful woman should look anorexic and have long legs like Size Two’s camels.

To find the winner the young women, most of whom are as tall as gumtrees are paraded, half naked in front of ogling crowds. They are clad in clothes and shoes they cannot afford just to show off their slander bodies to some people who will judge them like they are at a slave market.

Their faces are splashed in cheap makeup that make some of them look like ghosts or vampires. All in the name of proving they are more beautiful. To test their intelligence the poor girls are asked some inane questions.

That is meant to get a “beauty brains”, so the organisers say.

At the end of it all the winner’s empty head is adorned in a crown and she is handed some flowers.

The promoters gloat about growing a modelling “industry” in Lesotho. The winning girl will say something about a hard won victory that will launch her modelling career.

But Muckraker will tell you today, without fear or favour, that there is no modelling industry in this country. There is a car wash industry, yes. Not modelling industry.

It’s all a blue lie concocted by a gang of men and women who have nothing better to do. If it was an industry you wouldn’t need just the fingers on your hands to count the number of people it employs.

How the winning girl’s story unfolds is predictable. Some guy called Tlali (Ah that one!) will announce that the girl will be going to some obscure international pageant. Money is always a problem when it comes to such useless trips.

Tlali will use his battalion of pliable reporters to make noise about the girl’s trip being in danger of failing due to poverty.

The stories always have something from Tlali calling on the corporate sector supporting the power girl’s trip. By that time the story would have changed from that of giving confidence to the girl to that of “putting Lesotho on the map”, whatever that sick cliché means.

The change in the narrative is tactical because it turns what is essentially a personal vacation and vocation into a national issue. Companies are supposed to support the girl for her international trip because her participation will promote Lesotho.

Holy dung!

Weeks later stories about her victory at the international pageant will start popping up in the media with the predictable lie that she has ‘made Lesotho proud’. Proud of what? Walking the stage half naked in a foreign country?


In a few months the winner will go back to her life of papa ka moroho. The truth though is that beauty pageants stopped being fashionable in the 1980s. They are of no value in today’s world that values talent, brains and innovation. Those who insist on using pageants to promote ideas or products are flogging a dead donkey.

What irritates Muckraker is that in all the pageants there is no mention of books and education. No one has ever won a scholarship at a local pageant. It’s as if the promoters are telling the girls that looks will get you far in life.

The obsession with superficial beauty is mindboggling. One newspaper has what it calls “Weekend girl”. The candidates for that section are mostly school dropouts who believe their looks are their only meal ticket in life. They all aspire to be models and have silly hobbies like “watching movies”, “hanging out with friends” and “travelling”.

They have mottos like “What doesn’t kill you makes you song”. Phew.  They read Mills and Boons books when they are not binging on soapies and reality TV.

Most of them have neither jobs nor careers, which explains why they have time to pose for pictures half-naked. How the newspaper selects the girls Muckraker does not know but that will not stop her from speculating that there is something nefarious in the selection.

Frankly, how do we explain the fact that most of the girls are loafers who don’t seem to have anything substantial in their heads?

Is someone preying on empty heads?

Nka! Ichu!

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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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