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A national disgrace

by Lesotho Times


n her few years on this earth Scrutator has seen and heard things that have shocked her.

Some things have made her cry while others have induced laughter.

You know that laughter that comes from the belly.

Some have shaken her faith in human nature while others have reinforced her belief that human beings are generally good. Some things have angered her and others have pleased her.

Scrutator has mourned, moaned and marvelled.

But nothing could have prepared her for the shock she got this week when she heard news that Masupha Sole, that former Lesotho Highland Development Authority boss, had been rewarded with a plum job despite being a celebrated crook.

At first her curvaceous body went numb with pain then, after some time, she cried. And when she ran out of tears she had a very long laugh.

By the time she started writing this Scrutator’s eyes were welling again.

The appointment of Sole is probably the sloppiest decision this government has ever made since it stumbled into power 13 years ago.

For the first time someone has done things that Scrutator’s vocabulary cannot precisely capture.

For those not yet in the know, Sole is the man who made our little-known kingdom popular in the world.

Until Sole was caught for receiving bribes with astounding exuberance Lesotho was just another poor African country run down by its own leaders.

Then some time in the 1980s someone innovative decided that Lesotho has more water than it needed and came up with the idea to build dams to supply water to South Africa.

International companies, some of whose chief executives did not know Lesotho from a bar of soap, rushed to get the contracts on the water project.

The contracts ran into billions of maloti.

Sole entered the LHDA offices as it chief executive in November 1986 and he seemed to have quickly decided that he was going to partake in the looting.

Like someone suffering from kleptomania (a recurrent urge to steal without regard for need to profit) Sole went on the rampage receiving bribes like the world was about to run out of bribers.

His offshore accounts in Zurich and Geneva were always full to the brim with money flowing in from consultant companies that were paying homage to him, the kingmaker.

Before Sole’s zealots start alleging malice Scrutator would like to put it on record that all the things she is mentioning here were in a court judgment that is accessible on the internet.

By the time he was caught Sole had received nearly M5 million in bribes.

The court ruled that he was too dangerous to remain in society and jailed him for 15 years.

But Sole was no ordinary convict.

In the ninth year of his term, he was freed.

You would think that after such a disgraceful episode he would sink into oblivion and wallow in poverty.

But that is not Sole’s style.

He knows people that know people.

That is why he is now having the last laugh after being appointed as chief technical advisor to the Lesotho Highlands Water Commission (LHWC).

Remember the LHWC is the organisation that supervises the same projects he used to line his pockets through bribes.



crutator is flabbergasted and disgusted by the whole affair.  It’s now official: we are a country that rewards thieves and frowns upon honest men and women.

We are a country that has no regard for honesty.

While honest citizens of this country toil every day to feed their families the crooked ones are plundering this country’s meagre resources with impunity.

This is the only country in the world where honest people are considered “silly and pathetic”.

This is the only country in the world where it is considered unwise to be sincere.

Where else in this world would you have a man who was slapped with a total of 57 years in jail for fraud and bribery being appointed to a national project?

Have we run short of heroes that we have to revere a man who embarrassed this country by insisting on living on bribes for nearly a decade?



or quite some time now Scrutator has watched in horror as this country lowers the moral standards to accommodate misfits and delinquents.

But on Sole I think we have taken it too far.

When Samuel Makhakhe, the principal secretary in the prime minister’s office, got off lightly after being convicted of corruption Scrutator thought we had seen the last of this tomfoolery.

Little did she know that more devious things were in the offing.

For how long shall we continue to reward corruption in this country?

For how long should we allow corrupt characters to operate with impunity?

Crooks are plundering the little that we have while we ululate.

By the time we come back to our senses this country will be worth nothing. It will be nothing but a shell.

There will be no treasury to talk about.

The corruption in this country is mindboggling.

The complacency of its people towards this scourge is saddening.




fter much soul-searching, Scrutator has come to believe that perhaps it’s time we seek divine intervention. We must pray for this country before it degenerates into another ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’.

We are marching towards that status.

Our leaders have clearly shown they have neither the will nor the zeal to deal with this scourge.


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