Of coronavirus, foreign scribes and unbridled ambitions
I honestly don’t know where to start. Things are unravelling so fast in his Majesty’s Majestic Kingdom. Looks like the coronavirus shall be with us for a while; Ntate Thesele Maseribane is now at war with his bosom buddy Ntate Motsoahae. Who in this world could have ever foreseen such a possibility? The Motsoahae coalition is all but collapsed after Ntate Maseribane dubbed Ntate Motsoahae “unfit to remain in office”. Ntate Moeketsi Majoro has just been “elected” as Ntate Motsoahae’s successor.
A new ABC/DC coalition deal is in the offing. Ntate Thabo Thakalekoala wants to become Prime Minister in place of Ntate Majoro. He also wants all foreign editors expelled. Bokang Ramatsella has totally disappeared, except only when he emerges to make his characteristic haywire remarks against Ntate Metsing. Ntate Joang Molapo believes Coronavirus is a hoax. Ntate Tefo Mapesela has rubbished First Lady Maesiah as mantlharunye. My plate is very full. I just don’t know which issues to tackle first.
The editor of the Lesotho Times is in this bad habit of canning my column whenever there is a deluge of last-minute advertising. So, for the past three weeks, I have been deprived of an opportunity to dispense my wisdom. How unfortunate. It is as if the editor does not know that every issue in the Kingdom needs my wisdom.
There are just too many issues now outstanding. I am attracted to deal with all of them now but space will not allow. But despite the effluxion of time, I am sorry I have to take you back to issues that you had either forgotten or ignored.
I want to briefly deal with Ntate Joang Molapo (aka Chief Molapo) before I go to the main subject of my purview this week, Ntate Thabo Thakalekoala.
Ntate Molapo is generally one of my most favourite cabinet members and politicians. He is level headed most of times and is not prone to hyperbole and gaffes as most of our political actors. When he deals with an issue, he deals with it plainly and rationally. My disappointment with him comes during those times that he takes leave of his senses. Or during those times he succumbs to his insatiable love for the good life. Remember his recent junket to Paris to take a nap in a plush five-star hotel then return home, after collecting all his per diems from the UN and the Lesotho government, but without attending a single session of the UN summit he went for. Remember also his debut in the first Motsoahae government as Home Affairs Minister when he promised to expose all the corruption Nikuv had lavished on corrupt ministers and officials in the government of Ntate Pink Pakalitha Panther. That corruption had enabled Nikuv to land that multi-billion maloti tender to print our passports and IDs without an open public tender process. At once, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to prove that corruption will no longer be tolerated in Lesotho. I don’t know how much Nikuv has stolen from Lesotho since then. It must be billions; thanks to Ntate Molapo who reneged on his promises to fight Nikuv.
As soon as he was in his seat at Home Affairs, he accepted a trip to Israeli, Nikuv’s seat of power, or some other destination out there. He went there with Lady Molapo in tow. Once there, Chief Molapo and his wife were immediately Nikuved. That’s the last time we had about Nikuv and all its corruption. The company has effectively gotten away with murder. Thanks to Chief Molapo’s moments of weakness.
Scrutator is prepared to forgive the chief for all these misteps. After all, corruption is an official policy of all the regimes that come and go in Lesotho. But Chief Molapo’s recent goofing over the Coronavirus pandemic is just unforgivable.
Chief Molapo, who when not napping in Paris moonlights as our Tourism and Environment minister, recently made an impassioned call for tourists to flood Lesotho. This as the Coronavirus was wrecking havoc across the world killing thousands.
In a video clip that went viral on social media, Chief Molapo said: “As we speak about Lesotho specifically, Lesotho remains an extremely safe place to visit”.
“The risk of contracting coronavirus here at this moment is zero but for all other tourism risks, Lesotho remains an extremely safe place to visit and we hope and encourage people to visit Lesotho.”
Ntate Molapo also assured anyone who cared to listen not to worry about what was happening in Italy and Spain, two countries that so far have the greatest number of deaths from the pandemic.
Lesotho does not get tourists from those countries anyway, he opined.
My question is. What planet are you residing on Ntate Molapo? Are you in Jupiter, Pluto or have gone further to Mars? How can you exhibit such anthropological foolishness and lack of knowledge. Not having Coronavirus here should be the real reason why all tourists must be banned because they are the carriers of the virus. How can you fail to grasp that simple fact.
To his credit, Ntate Nkaku Kabi who had become better known for his work in defending Ntate Motsoahae and Maesiah than his work as Minister of Health, sprung to action and found his mantle. He admonished Ntate Molapo as a bit of a “confused” chap.
“There is no way that while other countries are making heavy strides like border lockdowns and grounding people from leaving their countries then we decide to open our borders and call for people to visit our country. No, he was totally out of line,” Mr Kabi said, in a rare sensible remark.
Criticism of Ntate Molapo came as far as Ethiopia where Professor Mafa Sejanamane, who really fought hard to get that diplomatic posting, implored Ntate Molapo to just “apologise” for this kind of statement.
But instead of doing the honourable thing and apologizing for his fatuous remarks, Ntate Molapo recoiled into dead silence after a vain attempt to claim he was misquoted. Ntate Molapo, how can you be misquoted on audio? Since when have television and radio recordings started misquoting people? Imagine Ntate Molapo gushing the following remark; “even that television recording misquoted me…”. Wow!!!
Me thinks Ntate Molapo you should just own up and apologise. It’s never too late to do the right thing. You may still be a bit frustrated man after your loss for the BNP deputy leadership post to Ntate Mofomobe. That however does not justify you taking leave of your senses. Get over it Ntate. Someone in the BNP must tell Ntate Molapo that apologizing for a wrong is a show of strength, not a weakness. South Africa is now Africa’s epicenter of the virus. Encouraging tourists from there to flood our country, just because they are not from Italy or Spain, is not only rank madness. It is also treasonous.
Ntate Thakalekoala is a highly intelligent man. There is no doubt about that. He is also famous in Lesotho for his infectious good looks. If there was a Miss World for men, I would sell all my goats and sheep to contribute to a fund to take him to represent us there. No doubt he would return with the Mr World trophy or Mr Universe trophy. Just imagine Mr Thakalekoala serenading the world in his underpants with his flawless skin on stage at the Mr World or Mr Universe contest podium in Las Vegas?
Mr Thakalekoala decided to put all his intelligence on show in a piece in the March 6 2020 edition of Public Eye.
Under the headline “Foreign Journos distort the Lesotho story” Mr Thakalekoala literally asked for the expulsion of all the foreign journalists who have set up shop here and transformed the otherwise staid media that was a national embarrassment before these foreign scribes descended on His Majesty’s Majestic Kingdom.
What Ntate Thakalekoala did not of course tell us is what is so special about the Lesotho story that he prescribes it must only be told by Basotho.
But there is no doubt in his thinking; “Basotho editors were just as capable and it was time they controlled newsrooms and processes content…”
What Ntate Thakalekoala did not tell us is what it is that is stopping this from happening. In the same story, Ntate Leketho Ntsukunyane laments the fact that Lesotho does not have a daily newspaper. But both him and Ntate Thakalekoala do not explain what it is that stopping local editors from exploiting that opportunity.
After all it only needs the ability to string a sentence in English, a few bucks to pay for printing to start a newspaper. So, what is the problem here. What’s even stopping Ntate Thakalekoala himself from starting a daily newspaper? If that opportunity remains unexploited, why then blame the next Congolese, Nigerian or even Sudanese who will see that business vacancy and then decide to exploit it. After all, are we now in one global village and capital flows across borders flawlessly.
One would expect a man of Ntate Thakalekoala’s pedigree to know better. But alas he has bizarrely decided to take leave of his intelligent brains.
In Ntate Thakalekoala’s world, everything bad in Lesotho is a result of foreign scribes. Expel boNtate Herbert Moyo, Silence Charumbira, Ray Mungoshi, Abel Chapatarongo, Shaikman Mugari and there shall forever be no coronavirus in Lesotho. Expel, these five and Lesotho would automatically eclipse Singapore and Dubai in terms of prosperity. Expel these five and Lesotho would immediately start manufacturing automobiles. Expel these five and there would be no murder charges against a sitting PM. Expel these five and the coalition will hold intact. Expel these five and everything shall be honky-dory.
There is one problem with Ntate Thakalekoala’s wisdom. It’s called xenophobia. So, how can such a xenophobe wish to become Prime Minister? Well. Expel the above five and Ntate Thalekoala will automatically become PM. For now, Ntate Thakalekoala should be happy that he has been promoted to SPS (Senior Private Secretary) to the Prime Minister.
Judging by his humungous intelligence, that’s probably the furthest he can go in his ambition to become PM. Scrutator is told an SPS holds enormous responsibilities. For instance, it’s an SPS’s responsibility to ensure there is enough toilet paper in the bathroom before the PM goes to dump. It is also the SPS’s responsibility to ensure the PM’s shoes are nicely polished. And during foreign tours, it is the SPS’s responsibility to knock on the PM’s door and ensure he is not late for meetings. Why don’t you concentrate on these enormous duties Ntate Thakalekoala, which needs all the wisdom and intelligence that a man can master. Why abuse your intelligence on foreigners who are mere investors and have only created jobs in a media sector that was once a national embarrassment. I am not finished with you Ntate Thakalekoala unless you apologise to our foreign colleagues who have done well for all and sundry…