HAVE our political leaders gone nuts? Specifically, has our Marshmallow Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, gone completely bonkers?
For those among us who are uninitiated in current affairs, Metsing has gone to court to challenge the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offenses (DCEO) over its demand that he explains the steady flow of large amounts of money into his personal bank accounts held at Standard Lesotho Bank and Nedbank.
Apparently, the sums that have been deposited into Mr Marshmallow’s account are so sizeable to arouse the interest of any corruption buster or investigative reporter.
In addition to his salary of less than M40 000 a month, Metsing has been receiving additional mysterious monthly cash deposits amounting to nearly M500 000 in the last 10 months alone, more than his annual salary.
Documents suggest that Metsing has been receiving these sums in a carefully orchestrated pattern of varying amounts from M8 000 to M50 000 monthly.
The mysterious deposits have no traceable depositor’s references as they were done in cash.
Instead of merely explaining where this money is coming from, Metsing, the archetypal cry-baby of Lesotho politics, has gone to court to allege that his privacy has been violated by our very own Scorpion, Advocate Borotho Matsoso, the head of the DCEO, who had politely asked the DPM to explain the source of all this moolah.
Scrutator has a few questions for Metsing. Have you become completely mad Mr Marshmallow?
If the source of all these deposits into your account is legitimate, then why not just explain it? If you have nothing to hide, then why not just explain where you have been getting this money from?
You are well aware that you are receiving this money at a time when you are being accused of having improperly influenced a lucrative M120 million roads tender in favour of an undeserving entity.
So why fuel further speculation by refusing to disclose the source of your income?
Are you just plain disingenous as a politician Mr Marshmallow? Or are you just one of those innocent recipients of bush legal advice from Lesotho’s many bush lawyers who operate their “law firms” from the boots of their third and fourth hand imported vehicles from Japan. (Remember the words of Acting Chief Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi about the quality of many of our lawyers).
Scrutator has experienced first-hand the work of such bush lawyers who, aided by the stupidity of their own clients, take frivolous matters to court and end up with mud all over their ugly faces.
When the judicial history of this country is finally recorded, Metsing’s application will ultimately rank as one of the most stupid ever recorded.
In his equally Marshmallow application, Metsing argues that he cannot explain the source of these mysterious
deposits because doing so amounts to a violation of his privacy.
Not only does Metsing take aim at the DCEO and a litany of other respondents, he also cites Standard Lesotho Bank and Nedbank, arguing that the two banks should have refused to divulge details of his mysterious cash to the DCEO.
What planet are you living on Mr Marshmallow? All well meaning Basotho should surely regret that you are even their DPM.
Are you not aware of the many international covnventions that oblige banks to divulge any mysterious inflows of cash deposits, such as those you have been getting, to combat money laundering and terrorism.
But more importantly, are you not aware that by accepting a high political office, you automatically forfeited your right to privacy.
It’s established principle that politicians and any individuals who seek any other high office and celebrity status cannot hide behind the banner of privacy.
You cannot thrust your person into the spotlight and then demand the right of privacy.
Surely Mr Marshmallow, are you saying Basotho should just look at our politicians lining their pockets and becoming fabulously wealthy and just rub their hands in glee without asking any questions as to the sources of the wealth. Me thinks that you have gone completely bonkers.
We have a right to know who has given you nearly M500 000 and why. I see that some of the deposits into your accounts, about M80 000 were done in January 2014. Everyone knows that January is a tough month for all of us. This is the period of the infamous January disease when most of us cannot afford anything. Yet your pockets were almost bursting.
If the source of your wealth is legitimate, then just say so and explain the source? If these are donations, we want to know the source and whether they have paid the applicable taxes? Your application just goes to show the great lengths to which you our politicians don’t take us seriously. The only mollifying factor for Scrutator is that your application has no chance under the sky of ever succeeding.
Without seeking to put myself into the shoes of our judges, I cannot see them granting your application.
I can almost predict with certainty that I don’t see them ruling that a politician under a cloud of corruption can receive large sums of money and simply refuse to explain the source with the aid of the courts.
If I were you Mr Marshmallow, I would start thinking of any number of excuses or reasons to explain the sources of this cash.
The courts will certainly not protect you and grant your requested order. You are going to have to explain where you have been getting this money from. So let’s explore any possible scenarios.
You could possibly say you earned the money from part time pastoral work. Scrutator has always advised you to become a full time pastor as your marshmallow nature is unsuited for the vagaries of politics.
You could also claim that you have been getting the money from the proceeds of your vegetable garden. However, when I once passed by both your urban and rural homesteads, I hardly saw any garden whose carrots and cabbages can raise nearly M500 000.
How about saying you have been getting the money from your wealthy small house to keep you in-house? Or possibly that you have been getting a subsidy to supplement your fairly meagre salary from your wealthy side-kick Mpo Malie.
Could it be that you were also a recipient of the largesse from Nikuv? But I haven’t heard your name being associated with that passport and ID contract rot. Or was Pakalitha Mosisili paying you a retainer to sever ties with Thomas Thabane and bring Size Two back to power. Apparently, 15 uninterrupted years have not sufficed for Size Two. He still wants to come back and reign over us and take his pride of place as Robert Mugabe’s number two in the region in terms of longevity in power.
You could also simply tell the DCEO and the courts that the money dropped from the heavens straight into your accounts. You are a man of God and everybody knows that. You could also simply say you just don’t know the good Samaritan who felt pity for you over how Thabane has been running all over you and felt the need to mollify you with these cash deposits.
The point Mr Marshmallow, is that any attempt to explain who gave you this money is better than filing a patently daft and futile application claiming that you cannot disclose the source because of some obscure “right” to privacy.
Ultimately, Scrutator does not think you have any credible reason to explain the source of your moolah other than to admit that one of the beneficiaries of those tenders you have overseen decided that it was payback time.
Your mitigating factor could then be your former colleagues in the former regime shepherded by Size Two even stole much more or got much more bribes. You can then get a lesser jail sentence. Either way, Scrutator does not see you surviving this scandal. We will nonetheless always meet in church after you have served your time at Maseru Central Prison and when you would most probably have heed my advice and become a full time man of the cloth.