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The feasting ones



Let’s start with a story from malaeneng in Thamae.
’Mamojakisane, the compound’s chief gossipmonger, sees a pastor coming out of ’Makhotso’s room.
’Mamojakisane rushes to ’Makhotso with her ears pricked. ’Mamojakisane: My friend, this is the fourth time I have seen the pastor coming out of your house.

’Makhotso: So?
’Mamojakisane: Ah, have you started a church?
’Makhotso: I have seen the barman coming out of your house for months now. Is your house a bar now?
’Mamojakisane retreats to her room with her tail between the thick legs.
The simple lesson here is that you must mind your own business.
The pastor could have just been discussing tithes with ’Makhotso.

Perhaps the barman was teaching ’Mamojakisane to make cocktails.
Think what you may but we will never know what happened behind those doors.
If you suspect that there was some hanky-panky then you are probably a pervert.
Wink, wink and wink.

The more complex lesson, however, is that things are not always as they seem.
And that is the pith of this article.
We knew, as early as five months ago, that the Covid-19 storm was coming.
Yet instead of scrambling for solutions and resources, we established the so-called Command Centre.

Civil servants and ministers galloped to the centre to pretend to be busy on strategies.
It was later revealed that they were just misdirected busybodies out of their depth.
Unable to come up with a coherent plan to ‘command’ the disease, the gang took out their frustrations on food.

And boy did they eat like pigs. It instantly became a Command Centre of Feasting.
They quickly forgot the task at hand and loaded their tummies with samp, papa, potatoes and pork.

Within weeks some were so fat that they couldn’t walk or think properly. Not that it was a congregation of thinkers in the first place. They were what we could get from the chaff. You work with what you have.
We however didn’t expect them to put on rotund cheeks and potbellies while Covid-19 cases were mounting.
People were not being tested.

The masks and testing kits from some well-wishers were being stolen hand over fist. Thousands were starving in their homes in the name of a national lockdown that was a sick joke.
Meanwhile, the ’Manthabiseng Convention Centre’s septic tank was flooding while the core business was left undone. Instead of a national strategy we were only occasionally treated to some shabby press statements so convoluted that only a prophet could decipher their meaning.

Remember the lesson: things are not always as they seem. For months, the government told us that it had everything under control. We now know that they were telling blue lies.
Physics tells us that work done equals distance moved over time.
Activity without progress is therefore not work.

We should therefore not wonder why we are in the throes of a Covid-19 tsunami.
We are unprepared because some people were feasting for months.

We must get a few things right before stampeding to condemn those who worked at the Command Centre of Feasting. People, by nature, don’t like working.

What they really want is the money. So if they can pretend to be working and still get the money they will do it.
Nyoe, nyoe, nyoe, I am a workaholic. My foot!
You are struggling to finish the work because you have been promoted to your position of incompetence. Or you are just battling for relevance. Or you have a terrible team around you. Or you are just incompetent.

Let not the nonsense about passion, drive and work ethic fool you. Never! They are all excuses to justify more moolah. That is why such rosy statements are targeted at bosses and those who decide what you earn.
Those at the Command Centre of Feasting were in it for the money.

You will be an unmitigated dunderhead to think they cared about the country. A real patriot doesn’t enjoy tea that costs M120. They don’t eat a M300 lunch when the people are starving. They will never be anywhere near a M300 dinner during a crisis.

All this is to debunk the nonsensical notion that those at the Command Centre of Feasting should have focused on the task at hand.
We should therefore not be shocked that they behaved like rats unleashed into a granary.

And there is only one reason for their unbridled gluttony.
The county did not have a government from January to early May. We had something that tasted, felt, looked and smelt like a government.
But the reality was that it was not a government but a conglomeration of squabbling zealots fighting to keep their loud mouths in the pot.
Each party was playing its own games.

The ABC people were busy beating each other to pulp. Some were clinging on to the Feselady’s skirts. Others were bellowing from the Professor’s corner.
The ADs were doing what they know best: making money while the sun shines. They were wise enough to know that only strangers benefit when brothers fight.

So they stuffed their mouths while pretending to be the most organised group in the dysfunctional coalition government.
The BNP was busy fanning the fires while also preparing to jump ship when the manure hit the fan. When 30 000-something is all you can win out of a possible 500 000, you must always have a plan B.

Look at them now as they ride on the new horse. It doesn’t matter that this is a two-legged horse. The last one was dead.
Don’t you dare ask what the RCL was doing. Those are just a confused lot and we cannot blame them.

It happens to anyone who stumbles into a ministerial position. They spent the past two years pinching themselves to confirm that they were still in government.
When your supporters cannot fill a 4plusOne you have to run like a headless chicken.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

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Tongue matters



It was not by default that some of the government’s paid and unpaid sycophants were attacking the principal secretaries who were fighting their termination.

One local newspaper which bootlicks with gusto was peeved that the principal secretaries were not giving up on their fight (We were not told why that was such an evil thing).

Their crime, as the newspaper insinuated, was that they were trying to delay the case so that they continue to earn their salaries and benefits. This tactic, the newspaper bellowed, was meant to sabotage the government. Really?

Such an inane argument would be laughable were it not tragic.

It was obvious the principal secretaries wanted to tie Uncle Sam in complex legal knots. That is how it works. No need for complicated mathematical models or throwing bones to know this would happen.

Not much acumen needed either. Just simple history and common sense. The history being that it has happened before with consistency. The common sense being that people don’t like being pushed out of their jobs for whatever reason.

It doesn’t matter how and why you do it. How people defend their bread in court is their business. In this case, the principal secretaries were not being terminated because they had done anything wrong. Wanting to hire your own people to implement your policy is no reason enough to callously fire anyone.

But somehow, Uncle Sam and his ministers thought they were a special breed that could walk into government and spank people out of their jobs. Now that the government has settled, you can be sure the same minions will pretend it was a result of the government’s brilliance or benevolence.

The truth is that the government should never have wasted its money and energy fighting the principal secretaries.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

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The fear of whites



Muckraker has no racist bone in her. So she will say what she wants without the fear of being called a racist. Follow the logic slowly to avoid jumping to conclusions.

The next time the government is fighting a court battle with anyone you should watch the legal representatives carefully. You can be sure that some white fella will be representing the government.

It’s as if there is always a white messiah waiting to save our government from its legal troubles. They like importing them from across Mohokare. Even if they choose to use a ‘local’ lawyer you can be sure that they are white. The issue of experience doesn’t matter.

They just have to be white. This has been the pattern over the years and it’s likely to continue as long as our government suffers from this incessant bout of inferiority complex. Everything else can be reserved for Basotho but not the provision of legal services to the government.

Here is where it gets excruciatingly painful. The same people who import white lawyers to represent the government will gladly hire local lawyers when they have personal legal problems. This is to say they trust local lawyers to solve their problems but don’t believe they are good enough to represent the government.

But don’t be confused because there is method to this sickening habit. The only reason they don’t hire local lawyers for the government is because there is lots of money to be made.

They don’t want the paws of black local lawyers anywhere near the government’s money. As far as they are concerned, Basotho lawyers are only good enough to represent thieves, cattle rustlers and those divorcing. Lesotho’s senior lawyers are King’s Counsels in their villages and not to the government.

The government’s legal matters are reserved for imported white lawyers. And let’s not pretend this is not about skin colour. No! If it wasn’t about that, the government would have hired a few black South Africans over the years.

Muckraker has to mention this because she saw this obsession with white lawyers again recently. The government was represented by a white advocate in its legal fight with the sixteen principal secretaries. For some reason, there was no local lawyer to handle a simple labour case between the government and its employees. That lawyer was imported to help the government fight what was clearly an unwinnable case.

A simple issue that could have been resolved over motoho and cool heads was now involving some imported legal mind behind paid by the bucket. You cannot make this up. When it eventually came back to its senses, the government did precisely what it should have done from the onset: negotiate. It took a meeting of a few hours for the Minister of Labour to seal a deal with the principal secretaries.

And where was the government’s white lawyer? Well, Muckraker is not sure but suspects he was preparing his hefty invoice. The government had wasted Basotho’s money fighting Basotho using some imported lawyer. Yet it says Basotho pele! Nonsense!

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

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Shaking the shack



SOME years ago Muckraker stumbled on the fascinating story of an Indian man who always drove his car in reverse.

By 2014 Harpeet Devi had been cruising in reverse on India’s roads for eleven years.

It started in 2003 when he could not afford to fix his Fiat’s gearbox. So he just started reversing to his destination. By the time he fixed the car Devi could not stop driving in reverse. He was so comfortable that he could drive at 80km/h backwards on the highways. It was now a habit he could not unlearn. Hooked on to the anomaly.

What mattered was he was going places, loved it and it worked.

Muckraker was reminded of that bizarre story when she heard of some people jostling for leadership positions in the LCD. You read that right: there are still people dreaming of leading the LCD and they are prepared to clobber each other to get to the top of that anthill of a political party. This misplaced ambition and delusion would be funny were it not tragic.

Those who made it into the LCD national executive committee days ago are inheriting a car that only drives in reverse. You don’t need basic arithmetic skills to see that the LCD has been driving in reverse for the past 10 years.

The only difference with Devi, the Indian chap, is that the LCD doesn’t have a destination and has fooled itself into thinking that it’s going forward.

It’s hurtling to its grave in reverse but those who claim to be leading it believe they are on the verge of some revival. They are not looking at the numbers because they are too scared of reality.

Instead, they will pretend that the past decade of disasters is just a passing phase and those who have jumped the sinking ship are either sell-outs or just lack vision.

Of course, the only vision that the LCD leaders have is that which is in the view mirror.

Little wonder they are quick to remember past success when faced with calamities of now. They never shut up about Ntsu Mokhehle. Ask them what they achieved and they will point to free primary education. And that’s it.

You would think Lesotho’s economy was firing on all cylinders under their leadership. You would be forgiven for thinking there was no corruption and inept management in their administration.

You know a party is caput when its leadership spends more time musing about history instead of plotting the future.

But you have to understand why the LCD is fixated with history. When you have no future all you have is history. The LCD is not a dying party. To describe it as such is to assume there is something left to resuscitate. The LCD is dead. Gone!

Those still in it are either desperate or delusional or both. Those who claim to be leading it are certified political failures and they know it. There is no leadership role for them beyond that dead donkey.

Only the LCD can tolerate their mediocrity.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

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