A paraffin spring has been discovered in Ha-Mabote.
Well, that’s according to a report in last week’s Lesotho Monitor.
“There has been a miracle of paraffin coming from the ground in the village of Ha-Mabote,” announced the tired tabloid in its vernacular section.
‘Mapule Maema, the owner of the field where this “miracle” is alleged to have happened, was liberally quoted to corroborate the story.
“I would be very happy if I could be part of the team that will drill paraffin here. Part of the proceeds should be given to a scholarship programme as I have a business offering career guidance,” Maema told the reporter who was obviously so excited about the scoop that he forgot to use his common sense.
She had told her neighbours about the “miracle”, gushed the tabloid.
“They were all certain that it was paraffin and used it to cook in their homes,” the report said.
“Maema then reported the incident to the local councillor so that he could in turn report to the Ministry of Natural Resources.”
Officials from the energy ministry took two litres to test whether it was paraffin or not, the paper said.
Scrutator cannot fathom how the poor reporter could not know that there will never be a time paraffin, or kerosene, will ever come out of a spring.
Paraffin is the product of petroleum distillation, or is obtained by refining crude petroleum.
The word paraffin is actually derived from the Latin words parum and affinis which mean lacking affinity or reactivity.
Sometimes the naiveté that is abound in our media makes me angry.
I can imagine the reporter nodding his head in agreement as Maema narrated about the “miracle” that had happened in her filed.
But the reporter can find solace in numbers.
Another struggling Monday tabloid fell for Maema’s “miracle” paraffin story hook, line and sinker.
It’s called gullibility.
Or is it mediocrity?
This reminds Scrutator of President Robert Mugabe’s government in Zimbabwe that was duped by a sangoma that diesel was flowing from a rock home near her homestead.
Yes, a dirty sangoma actually tricked a whole government into believing that she had discovered a diesel spring.
A cabinet task team was set up to “investigate” the “miracle”.
Senior ministers scrambled to the village to witness the “miracle” and the national oil company and experts from the country’s energy ministry