Let the looting begin

17

T

wo events in recent weeks are enough to illustrate that we have sunk to unacceptable levels of immorality as a country.

First, there was Kubutu Makhakhe, the principal secretary in the prime minister’s office, who is set to get a new plum government job despite having been found guilty of corruption related charges by an internal probe.

Instead of showing contrition he has the cheek to claim that he is going to appeal the judgment.

He is actually gloating.

Then there is Simon Thebe-ea-Khale, the MKM boss, who single-handedly masterminded the looting of about half a billion maloti from nearly half a million Basotho.

Guilty conscience hasn’t gotten the better of him because he is now planning to appeal the decision to liquidate his company despite the fact that he still can’t account for the investors’ funds.

Both men are wretched thieves but they have clearly convinced themselves otherwise.

You would think that many people in this country would be seething with anger at such immorality. 

Surely after committing such heinous crimes the two men should be scared to walk the streets of Maseru for fear of being lynched by disgusted citizens.

But things don’t work that way in this country. Instead of being ostracised both are men actually considered victims of a ruthless vendetta from within government.

Their sleaze has suddenly been forgotten and people are preoccupied with concocting unfounded conspiracy theories to explain who in government could have plotted their demise. That is why you have bearded men and breasted women alleging that Makhakhe is being used as a scapegoat and that Thebe-ea-Khale is a victim of either a jealous competitor or a vindictive central bank.

Men that should be condemned for stealing from the public are fêted like heroes.

The case of MKM is particularly shocking.

There are people in this country who believe that Thebe-ea-Khale was a messiah who was going to free Basotho from the shackles of poverty had his companies not been closed by the central bank.

Such reasoning has always baffled me and for a long time I thought only village bumpkins were capable of being so myopic. But then I was wrong.

There are still educated people in our midst who believe that what happened to Thebe-ea-Khale was an injustice.

Their reasoning goes something like this: “if Thebe-ea-Khale had not been stopped in his tracks many Basotho would have become millionaires. Yes many people would have lost their monies but that is the way of life”.

Such reasoning has always been the modus operandi in this country.

That is why we have no problems rubbing shoulders with people who should otherwise be in jail.

It is precisely the reason why government officials have continued to plunder government resources with gusto.

They know we are a people incapable of being angered by immorality and dishonesty.

They know we will continue to urge them on in their evil ways in the hope that one day, just one day, we will get a chance to partake in the looting. 

They know this country has no history of punishing thieves.

Look around you and see how many senior government officials live in opulence in a sea of poverty.

Every year that sister of mine who has the misfortune of being called the auditor general of this country brings new shocking evidence to prove that the looting in government has reached alarming levels.

She has said government money is being stolen with impunity yet no one has raised a finger to protest.

Instead some charlatans would rather toyi-toyi in the streets demanding that the government negotiates new borders with South Africa.

When are we going to get angry over the real things that are genuinely disgusting like corruption?

When are we going to demand accountability from our politicians?

We need to do some soul-searching as a country. To begin that process we must learn to frown upon thieving.

One of the most effective ways of dealing with crooks is a lifestyle audit.

Before anyone is employed in government or is elected into a public office they must declare how many goats, chickens and cats they have. That audit must done every year so we can catch thieves before they get too fat from eating government money.

B

ut because we seem to have a problem with transparency in this country Scrutator has come up with a splendid idea that will get rid of corruption in this country once and for all.

How about if we legalise corruption and then put a threshold on how much each government official is allowed to steal?

To make sure that people don’t steal more than the threshold we implement very strict control measures.

For instance, we can agree that everyone in this country gets a chance to work in government for at least two years.

When everyone has had their turn we start the process again. That way we all get a chance to benefit from state resources.

The idea is to have a national policy that says “steal government money but make sure you leave some for others”.

We must make sure we criminalise greed for that is one vice that might disrupt the system. Those that take more than their fair share must have their fingers chopped off.

Under the system people will not be voted into political office but will patiently wait for their turn. And when their turn comes they take their share of the loot and leave office. It’s called wealth  sharing and there is nothing new about it. Most people in government are already taking turns to benefit from rigged tenders.

S

crutator came up with this noble idea after realising that although corruption has become a bona fide means of getting rich in this country only a handful of people are monopolising it. If the pillaging of government resources is such an acceptable practice then why do those in senior government official think only they alone are allowed to do it? Scrutator has come to the unfortunate conclusion that graft in this country will always be a way of life. It’s like sex and bathing. So why the hell should we crimalise it? Lets open the floodgates and let the looting begin.

Share.

About Author

Lesotho’s widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa.

Contact us today: News: editor@lestimes.co.ls Advertising: marketing@lestimes.co.ls Telephone: +266 2231 5356

Comments are closed.