Who’s who in annual mediocrity awards?

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What a hectic year it has been for Scrutator. This was the year I made the most enemies but as usual I am not regretting any bit.
I accumulated loads of loyal fans too.
Anyone else who claims not to have read or heard about this column is either very forgetful or just a dirty liar.
Two weeks ago I promised to bring you the nominations for my coveted Mediocrity Awards.
After spending sleepless nights doing meticulous verification, I am proud to announce that the nominations are in and ready for dispatch.
This year’s nominations were tightly contested.
Put your hands together for the men and women who worked extra hard in 2009 to make it to this list.
Here we go:
Mohau “Whitehorse” Thakaso, the self-acclaimed executive chairperson of PC FM, makes it on the nomination list, with top marks, for recommending that the government should close the radio station so that he could wrest control from the management.
For the entire year Whitehorse has been hoofing at everything and everyone at the station that he claims to own.
It’s no longer clear whether he cares for the station’s interests or not. All he wants is control.
I was sympathising with him until he lost his mind and suggested that if he can’t get the station then it must be shut down. Whitehorse!
What a desperate suggestion that was.
For stooping so low and threatening media jobs in the name of victory, Whitehorse just had to make it on this list of shame.
THE Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa)’s Lesotho chapter, the runaway winners last year, could have missed out on this year’s nominations had they not decided to do something silly very late in the year.
Imagine my horror when I heard that this organisation that claims to like “deversity” in the media held a party in town but decided to exclude scribes from two of the only three proper newspapers in Lesotho.
The jamboree was attended by everyone in the media except scribes from the  Sunday Express and the Lesotho Times.
Talk about media diversity.
Clearly that discriminatory decision left Misa’s integrity and claims to “deversity” in tatters.
It might take them years to repair their reputation but it didn’t take Scrutator a minute to decide that they had earned their place on the nomination list. 
In any case what kind of competition would it have been without the defending champions?
As a football nation we had become so used to our mediocrity that losing to other nations had become so routine and it never really irritated us anymore.  
Then someone decided that we should hire that Serbian pretender called Zavisa Milosavljevic (pictured right).
And, soon, losing football matches started infuriating us.
The reason was because we were paying Milosavljevic an arm and a leg but the coach was just not doing what he was hired for.
Instead he was busy munching lots of maloti from the taxpayer’s pocket.
When the authorities eventually came back to their senses he had stayed at a top hotel for 10 months and in the process ratcheted a massive bill of M300 000. 
In the meantime he was pocketing his inflated pay of M100 000 a month. Milosavljevic never stopped losing.
In fact he got worse at it as Likuena got embarrassingly walloped match after match.
I still don’t know whether it was his mediocrity or his hefty salary that eventually jerked the football authorities from their deep slumber to sack him but whatever reason they had, I say good riddance.
Milosavljevic, I welcome you to the list with an open heart and a broad smile.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realise who kept Milosavljevic on the job for so long even when it was clear that he was an unmitigated failure.
Let’s put our hands together for the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) who find themselves on this list for making the most kindergarten decision in the history of football in this country.
Scrutator still cannot believe that a whole institution like Lefa can do something as dumb as banning a newspaper.
Yet the authorities at Lefa did just that when they said they will never speak to the Lesotho Times and the Sunday Express because the papers were writing negative things about them.
The ban was supposed to punish the papers but it achieved quite the opposite.
The Lesotho Times still remained Lesotho’s prime paper on sports coverage and readers continued reading it. The Sunday Express continued to shine every Sunday morning with even better sports stories.
And what happened to Lefa?
Well, they suffered for their ill-conceived and hasty decision.
They resorted to newsletters that masquerade as newspapers.
Those who are hostile to criticism should stay away from football. No one owns football, not even Lefa or Fifa.
For thinking that they are bigger than football and behaving the way they did, I welcome them on this long list of shame. 
What else can Scrutator do with an organisation that does not realise that no matter how hard we  might try to deny it, there are only three newspapers in this country — the Lesotho Times, the Sunday Express and the off course the the Public Lie.
It would have been the greatest injustice if the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS) had missed out on the nomination for these Oscars of mediocrity.
The NMDS has given a new meaning to incompetence.
Theirs has been a well-planned “rise” to mediocrity.
And just as it seemed that they had reached their peak, the NMDS suddenly upped the ante to reach new records.
So generous is this department that it actually goes around town in Bloemfontein looking for people to give money.
They won’t deny this fact because they are the only department that handed money to a South African estate agent without a contract.
This is the department whose blunders left a NUL student dead and 14 others injured this year.
When you ask them to account all you hear are denials and denials.
It boggles the mind how a department charged with improving competence in our country could have managed to become so inept. Does it puzzle any one now that they are in the running for this coveted award?
Hold your breath because the next nomination is really big. 
Give a big round of applause to the suspended vice-chancellor of the National University of Lesotho, Adelani Ogunrinade.
The Nigerian knows how to live like a king in a foreign country and he does it in style.
Barely a month passed without him jumping onto a plane for some useless trip. Ogunrinade was indeed VC-at-large.
Each time our poor NUL would pay him a generous per diem.
When he bought some T-shirts, he forwarded the bill to NUL. When he officially opened a NUL workshop he paid himself M20 000. Now Ogunrinade is on the verge of losing his job and not many will shed tears for him.
“Dear Mr acting bursar I will be going to the toilet in the next half an hour so please prepare full a per diem for the trip….” Ogunrinade could have written such a requisition had the council not suspended him just in time. Oga, there was no way you could have escaped this nomination.
Sometime in the late 80’s two thieves suddenly found themselves with plum government jobs.
Reatile Mochebelele was appointed the government’s chief delegate to the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) while his protégé Letlafuoa Molapo was also appointed a delegate to the project.
As soon as they were appointed the two wretched crooks gave themselves new titles.  Mochebelele appointed himself the chief looter while Molapo became the assistant looter.
Only God knows how much they plundered.
They took bribes with the clear conscience of someone receiving birthday presents.
Soon Mochebelele had gained a few kilogrammes and the bribes became visible in the size of his tummy.
Molapo’s cheeks became chubby as he continued to munch the bribes. When they were eventually caught with their dirty hands in the cookie jar they scrambled to prove their innocence.
For three years the crooks ducked and dived but the prosecution pursued them.
Now Molapo’s new address is at Maseru Central Prison.
Mochebelele is still at large but he too will soon be caught.
How I wish the prison guards could lock their doors and swallow the keys.  As far as these awards are concerned Mochebelele and Molapo already have an unfair advantage because if they lose there is a chance that they will steal the medals.
At least Mochebelele and Molapo were clever thieves compared to those 20 something uninitiated bandits two tried to steal our democracy on that April 22 night.
Tricked with promises of World Cup jobs the men found themselves hired as mercenaries for a shoddily planned coup attempt.
It was a spectacular failure that ended with the morons running for their dear lives.
Four of the bandits died that night and I hope the powers that be in the afterlife have given them a one-way ticket to burning hell where they belong.
We don’t need to waste Judgment Day time with such obvious candidates for hell.
The others were caught like rats. Those that promised them hefty rewards of M500 000 were nowhere to be found.
The drama of that incident had barely ended when some ageing greenhorn with a certain boring weekly decided that he just had to have the last word on it. He came out guns blazing arguing that what the bandits tried to do was not an attempted coup.
He said those who say that this was an attempt coup must have had a hand in it.
Tears rolled down my dimpled cheeks as I read that column.
The shallowness of the greenhorn was there for all to see.
With every word he wrote, the greenhorn chipped a few blocks from the reputation that he had built over the years.
It did not take a few days for him to realise how wrong he was but, stubborn as ever, he refused to climb down. For having such a denialist attitude towards established facts the greenhorn is in the running for the gong.
Wouldn’t it be a great injustice if we did not nominate those overzealous officers who fired shots that killed an innocent student and left dozens others injured during the strike at NUL? There are also those illiterate university guards who went on the rampage beating up students and sparking their violent response. Spare a thought for the zealot guards who killed a guest at Lesotho Agriculture College. It’s dangerous to arm zealots.
I will announce the winners next week but that does not stop me from adding more nominations just in case someone does something exceptionally stupid in the next seven days.
The nominees are free to lobby and canvas for support ahead of the announcement. Let me to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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