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The year of political lessons



THIS is a year of political education. Those who bunk these political classes will learn the hard way. Because politicians think school has teeth that bite, Muckraker will summarise the key lesson.

Here it is: Those with financial power will eventually seek political power. Uncle Sam’s forays into politics should have delivered this lesson in a thundering fashion but they thought it was a fluke or fad.

Now another money man has jumped into the political arena.

His name is Zhenyu Shao, the Chinese man who has become a Mosotho by time. The MEC thought he was their piggybank until he wanted to be the party’s MP in Ha Tsolo.

Only when he tried to convert his money into political power did the party remember that he is a man from another country.

They told him as much while still chewing the last of his money. The party’s message was clear. His money is welcome but not his political ambition. They like the colour of his money, not his skin.

The party has been quick to disown him despite that they have had their hands in his pocket and were openly hobnobbing with him at its rallies.

But Shao is nobody’s fool. He has pulled the middle finger on the party and is contesting the election as an independent.

Those who are outraged that Shao is contesting have not seen anything yet. More Shaos are waiting in the queue to graduate from being funders of political parties to politicians. They are coming and coming fast.

Shao might not win on October 7 but he has started a trend that will continue for years to come. There will be Xis, Yaos, Zheng and Xaos on the ballots. And there is nothing we can do about it.

There will come a time when voters cannot pronounce or spell the names of their MPs.

You better learn Mandarin fast if you want to talk to your MP.

If not then you can at least learn Chinese English. Dis one. Me want money.

If you want the MP to help repair your road you say: Potihole, potihole potihole everywhere. If thieves are harassing your village you says Too much tsotsi breka house and a lot money.

If you don’t have water for two days you say: two day me no water. Collo Wasco to come fast fast. It will be what it will be.

A new era in our politics. And it will not be an error because we have been taking delivery of Chinese friends for decades.

We therefore should not be surprised when they want a piece of the political action. We have no right to deny them that power because, if the truth be told, this is their country in every sense. We eat their food in the villages.

They give us jobs. They have been donating food to our people. Muckraker would say the Chinese have a legitimate expectation to seek political office. After all, the parliament was built by their government.

They can even push to be in the State House because it was donated by their government. What will a prime minister say if a Chinese man walks into the State House and says: This is my house! Get lost.

Pack your bags and go back to that old roundavel of yours. Soon their government will be delivering a new hospital in the centre of Maseru.

Eat your hearts out because the Shaos are coming to occupy their rightful place in a country that has been a parasite on their country.

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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