And the nominees are . . .

THE red carpet has been rolled out for Scrutator’s 2011 Mediocrity Awards.

Next week we reward the men and women who have struggled through thick and thin to climb up the ladder of mediocrity in 2011.

There were those who took giant steps up the ladder and others who climbed up slowly but surely.

There are those who violently refused to be knocked off their perch once on top and others who tried every trick in the book to topple them.

Scrutator should mention from the onset that those who failed to make it to the list of nominees should not kick themselves hard for the competition this year was tough.

Never in the history of these momentous awards has Scrutator had such a torrid time coming up with the nominees.

Those who did not make it this year should know that they too did a splendid job.

It was because of their sterling efforts this year that Scrutator spent days struggling to come up with the nominees.

They must also remember that their efforts have not been in vain because it is possible they will be allowed to carry over the mediocrity points acquired in 2011 to next year.

In the meantime, Scrutator will reward their heroic efforts this year by giving them a special mention. So here we go.

 

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Special mention goes to the Informative newspaper which has adamantly refused to write in readable language.

The paper, if at all it should be called that, remains a colossal embarrassment to this country’s newspaper industry.

This year the editors outdid themselves.

There were times when it looked like they were deliberately mutilating the English language just to punish their readers simply because it’s a free paper.

The Silo, another rag, remained adamant in its bad ways.

They butchered journalistic rules and peed on the English language.

While Scrutator understands that the English language came here by sea and some of it might have been lost in the tempests she still maintains that those that choose to write in English must at least communicate.

Spelling mistakes are sometimes understandable but not making gibberish out of sentences.

The Silo and the Informative were in a class of their own when it came to writing incomprehensible things this year.

The sad reality is that these terrible twins don’t seem like they will improve anytime soon because they don’t know that they don’t know.

 

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Another special mention should go to our opposition parties for their shallowness and ineptness.

At a time when the country was skidding towards a precipice they stuffed their big ears, closed their mouths and wore blinkers.

Some of them went into a deep slumber and only woke up when trying to smuggle their mundane issues onto the national agenda.

Some were simply garrulous for nothing.

Tom Thabane continues to run the All Basotho Convention like a personal fief.

The Basotho National Party, a party with a checkered history but has a bit of goodwill from those it benefited in the past, is floundering.

The Marematlou Freedom Party is rich in history but poor in support.

The Lesotho Workers’ Party has no direction and none of its leaders can read the compass.

The other small parties are just nonentities groping in the dark.

 

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It would be unfair to omit the Lesotho Congress for Democracy from this list.

The ruling party was so dysfunctional that it’s a miracle that it has made it this far as one party.  When they could not sort out their mess the congress zealots clogged our courts with
silly cases.

It was such a sad sight watching breasted women and bearded men behaving like spoilt brats.

It’s a pity the hopelessly incompetent opposition will not be able to capitalise on the ruling party’s glaring weaknesses at the 2012 polls.

The deputy prime minister is a humble politician who is also likeable but when he told parliament he did not know of cases of police officers accused of brutalising people Scrutator was shocked and disappointed.

For denying the obvious truth he deserves a special mention.

Teboho Letsela, the young MP for Hololo, gets a special mention for being silly.

Once an admirable young man who looked like he had a decent head on his shoulders, Letsela lost all respect when he started using Facebook to settle petty grudges.

Scrutator hopes he will grow up next year.

Kubutu Makhakhe, the former principal secretary in the Prime Minister’s office, refused to shut up even after his nefarious activities were exposed.

Instead of covering his face in shame, he became a chatterer.

The result is that he embarrassed himself further and now he finds himself getting a special mention for the mediocrity awards.

 

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And now to the nominees . . .

On top of the pile sits that pathetic excuse of a university called Limkokwing University.

Scrutator will maintain whether in court, jail, hell or heaven that Limkokwing is one big fat lie of a university.

She has tried hard to give this campusless university the benefit of the doubt but she just cannot fathom how it can survive any longer when it jumps from one crisis after the other. Limkokwing has taught us that money doesn’t buy legitimacy and integrity.

Thanks to Limkokwing, we now know for sure that those who said money doesn’t grow on trees were either lying or simply out of touch with the latest trends.

There is no doubt that Limkokwing is a money-making scheme that no sane government should have invited to set up base here.

But the chickens are coming home to roost.

The façade is crumbling.

Limkokwing has been exposed for what it is: a degree mill masquerading as a bonafide university.

The lecturers have grown weary of being abused while the students — once grateful for getting some education — are beginning to realise that they are toiling for qualifications not even close to real degrees.

 

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The Nthane Brothers are second on the nominations’ list for building a road that could not even last a pregnancy.

That they even had the temerity to borrow M15 million from the government to complete another phase of the project makes them deserving nominees for the mediocrity award.

When their high jinks were exposed by the Lesotho Times they huffed, puffed and even threatened to sue.

Their audacity was shocking.

The evidence of their slapdash work was there for all to see yet they insisted on getting a front page apology from the newspaper.

In the end no apology came and the company went on voicemail. Someone must have told them to zip their mouths if they wanted to conserve what was left of their integrity.

 

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There is no way the LDC government was going to avoid nomination especially after its monkeyshines this year.

This is the same government that saw nothing wrong with appointing Masupha Sole, an ex-convict, to the Lesotho Highland Water Commission.

It didn’t matter to them that Sole had looted the same institution in the 1980s and had been sentenced to serve an effective 15 years behind bars.

The LCD government was so hell-bent on appointing the former crook that it did not even care what South Africa, a partner in the project, would think.

This is the same government that gave the Nthane Brothers a M15 million loan with a 26-year repayment plan.

It didn’t matter that the company had previously done a shoddy job and that the government is not in the business of giving loans to contractors.

When the Wikileaks were released the LCD government started running around like a headless chicken.

It was as if they had discovered the Wikileaks on the day the story was published in the Lesotho Times. The US ambassador to Lesotho was properly called to explain the leaks.

This was despite that the US had already said it wanted nothing to do with the leaks.

When the ambassador met the minister of foreign affairs she repeated the same line, leaving the government bewildered.

Scrutator let out a long and hard laugh.

Until recently ‘Mathato Sekoai, the registrar of the High Court and Court of Appeal, was little known beyond the Palace of Justice grounds.

Surprising isn’t it that she is now a top contender for the mediocrity gong.

She has climbed up the ladder so fast that even her enemies are envious.

Chief magistrates, High Court judges and staff want her out pronto.

Scrutator has nothing against this sister but she cannot understand why she got to be hated by almost everyone she works with.

She has made history by being the only registrar to be disliked by almost all the High Court judges.

Not even a single judge came to her defence when she was under attack.

It’s amazing that a mere registrar could attract the wrath of almost everyone in the judiciary.

Sekoai had better consult the best ngaka in Lesotho if she wants to remain employed.

In the meantime, she must see this nomination as a deserved Christmas present.

 

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As far as mediocrity is concerned this has been a good year for the judiciary. Chief Justice Mahapela Lehohla and Court of Appeal president Justice Michael Ramodibedi find themselves in contention for the award because of their petty fight over seniority.

Who would have thought that at a time when the judiciary is in a state of paralysis the two most senior judges would concentrate on fighting over “whose name should be called first at state functions”.

So bad was this fight that Justice Lehohla decided to invite some foreign chief justices to intervene.

When Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili told the chief justices to find their playmates somewhere else Justice Lehohla took the fight to a conference in Uganda.

The spectacle, as we now know, embarrassed the country.

 

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The National University of Lesotho (NUL) would have been nominated had it not been for its lecturers who stole the thunder in 2011.

In the second half of this year NUL began to show some initiative to deal with its mess.

But lecturers and researchers decided to torpedo that initiative with a strike from which they are unlikely to get anything.

The minister of education has already said they will not get the 15 percent they are demanding.

Lutaru are not a strong contender for the award but they certainly deserve a nomination.

 

NB: The winner will be announced next week. Scrutator would like to wish her readers a good holiday.

She also thanks all those who have supported the column this year and will never take that support for granted.

It is you, the readers, who have made this column great.

Until next week, please share the love, slow down on the roads and keep away from trouble. Scrutator is off to Mafube, she misses her mother big time. Acheeeeeeeeeeee!

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