Why weep more than the bereaved?

So All Basotho Convention (ABC) party youths decided to “go public” about their indignation with the media for daring to wash party leader Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s dirty linen in public.

As one observer asked: Is it not ironical that it was Ntate Tom himself who opted to come out of the closet about his private relationship in a detailed interview published by a local weekly newspaper?
Scrutator wonders what’s really bothering these youthful party fans.

The youth leaders angrily declared war on the media for treading where even angels should fear to set foot.
“We had not expected media houses to focus on the Prime Minister’s personal love affair, but rather on how he governs Lesotho.

“Basotho know local media houses are fond of sensationalising issues and blowing things out of proportion as you’re doing with his case which is even before the courts.
“But there is no man who does not have his own affair, so focus on your own and leave him alone or talk about national issues because we will not allow this to continue”, the youths angrily drooled last week.

Scrutator wishes to put it across to these young-fellows that indeed there are REAL men and REAL women in Lesotho who do not have “affairs” at all.

Besides, the interest a Prime Minister’s love life generates for the public, in any country, cannot be equated to the interest a herd boy’s private life would create.

Scrutator thinks these young-fellows are misdirected in their overzealousness to please their dear leader.
The fact that Ntate Tom, a seasoned politician who has seen it all, found it wise to open up and put paid to unnecessary rumour is completely lost to these party zealots.
It’s clearly beyond them to understand this, God bless their little minds!
The question is: Who is complaining here?

Certainly not Ntate Tom, nor his partner because they definitely know that the minute he opened his mouth to talk to a newspaper about it, then their relationship ceased to be a private matter.
In the end, these youths are no more than “outsiders who weep more than the bereaved”.

If the youths seriously believe the matter remains private, then they themselves are equally guilty of further escalating the publicity of a private matter.

As one of the country’s most seasoned politicians, Ntate Tom is no doubt smarter than these youths want anyone to believe. If anything, the lame stunts by these youths could actually be embarrassing him.

He understands the minute he assumed public office the lines between his private and public lives became blurred, so fuzzy as to render it futile for anyone to attempt to draw a visible line.

“We risk losing the much-needed investment with such negative reporting,” one of the youths pontificated.
No young-fellow, you are misdirecting yourself again, the country won’t risk losing investors simply because it has an unflattering media, to the contrary, the more transparent the country’s media is, the more believable it becomes to outsiders and the more respectable that country’s governance system is perceived.

Scrutator need not remind these party fanatics that when Bill Clinton was president of the US, the media was awash with reports of how he had an affair with an intern, one Monica Lewinsky, but this did not reduce the world’s high regard for US democracy, let alone its economy.
Right now French president Francois Hollande is smarting from revelations that he was having an affair with actress Julie Gayet.
Because of this “Bill Clinton” moment, Hollande’s partner of seven years Valerie Trierweiler walked out on the French president.

Currently there is a rumour going on of an affair between the US president, Barack Obama and the superstar singer, Beyonce, — both of whom are married.
All these do not make the West less respectable in politics or business.
To the contrary, this demonstrates a culture of openness in these countries.
South Africa’s Jacob Zuma has had his fair share of sex scandals, so has other prominent people like Zwelinzima Vavi in that country.

World over journalists know that prominent politicians do not cease to be human and become demi-gods by virtue of occupying high office.
They are still susceptible any afflictions and mistakes that plague the rest of humanity.
To their media, there are no sacred cows.

The heavy rains pounding the entire Southern Africa region reminded Scrutator of that infamous Jacob Zuma gaffe about Malawi last year.
Seeing thousands of families marooned in shacks, many of which were literally soaked in water, Scrutator could not help but wonder whether this was happening in sub-Saharan Africa’s richest economy or it was some slum “in Malawi”.

If Scrutator could get Zuma’s mobile number, she would no doubt ask him how on earth he managed to bring such backwardness to “civilised” Mzansi.

These shack dwellers, at least 1.7 million countrywide (equal to the population of Lesotho) according to SA media reports, are families completely at the mercy of weather elements and they make sad news everyday in the media from January to December.
What a statement on a President with such extreme self-regard!

Scrutator has been following as much of Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial as possible.
She could not help but recall Alfred Nobel’s famous quote about lawyers: “Lawyers have to make a living, and can only do so by inducing people to believe that a straight line is crooked”.
Little wonder Oscar’s defence lawyer was pushing the line that Oscar “screams like a woman” an assertion vehemently opposed by one female state witness.

The suspected lady killer was on Monday retching in court when the pathologist retold the graphic details of the injuries his gun shots inflicted on Reeva Steenkemp.
That the trial comes soon after commemoration of Women’s Day is significant.
Scrutator thinks Lesotho has more than her fair share of trigger-happy “Oscars”.
Almost every day there is a report of a woman murdered by her lover or husband.

For a country with a population of under two million, one finds the rate of spouse murders disturbing.
Clearly, our courts should be full of Oscars.

But one wonders whether retelling graphic details of their impunity in our courts would make them puke at all, since it would seem our society is now so used to misogynistic murders that these crimes have now become part of daily occurrences.

Scrutator is always peeved with the conduct of some of the leaders on our continent.
As if the problems African nations are facing are not overwhelming enough, a number of them still find time to formulate some of the most ludicrous policies under the sun.

Take Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, whose government presides over a decrepit health delivery system with only 12 percent of households in the country having access to electricity, among other challenges.

Added to this, according to the World Bank, the chances of Uganda realising all of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 are slim owing mostly to the deterioration of governance and increased corruption.

Far from addressing bread and butter issues, the Ugandan government is busy crafting laws
banning miniskirts and low-slung trousers.

Uganda’s Ethics and Integrity minister, Simon Lokodo, has vowed that women wearing clothing that does not cover the knee would be arrested.
“Any attire which exposes intimate parts of the human body, especially areas that are of erotic function, are outlawed. Anything above the knee is outlawed. If a woman wears a miniskirt, we will arrest her,” Lokodo declared.

Not long after, seven men were arrested for targeting women in miniskirts and stripping them naked.
Ugandan media report that mobs, claiming to be “helping” police to enforce the law, also undressed eight
women who were wearing miniskirts.

Thankfully, the bill is now being reviewed by the Ugandan government following a public outcry.
Hopefully, cooler heads than Lokodo’s would prevail.

As if the madness in Uganda is not enough of a blot on Africa, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has threatened to drop the English language in a bid to spite former colonial power, Britain, for calling for reforms.

Last year, Jammeh pulled the Gambia out of the Commonwealth after the body raised concerns over human rights abuses which include enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and unfair trials.
Jammeh joined the ignoble ranks of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe who also unilaterally pulled out of the Commonwealth following censure for electoral fraud and human rights abuses.

Apart from being an autocrat, Jammeh claims that he has a “miracle cure” for Aids, a pasty herbal concoction, and engages in exorcisms.

The president’s “treatment” is available to Gambians free of charge, according the government website.
With leaders like these, Africa certainly does not need enemies.


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