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MPs clowning 

Maseru is a boring little town masquerading as a city. It’s the same old story: Drink, gossip, sleep, drink, gossip and sleep. Some hanky-panky here and there. And that’s it.

Nothing more, unless you call watching goats mating an adventure.

Or you call drinking beer along the highway while sitting on a broken camp chair pleasure. Suit yourself.

The reality is that no town is as mind-numbing as Maseru. Anyone who disagrees with that assessment has never been to any other city (Maputsoe is not included for obvious reasons).

Muckraker once spent an hour watching the escalator at Pioneer Mall just to amuse herself. The entertainment value is not in the movement but in the terrified faces of some first-timers.

You see people giggling and shaking with fear.

Somehow, there is always that ‘Good Samaritan’ quick to help the scared through the ordeal.

Then there are those spectators who watch the scared souls with disdain in their eyes as if wondering why anyone would be so frightened of a mere escalator. It’s as if not being afraid of the escalator makes them feel special.

Muckraker finds the spectacle funny because there are very few fun things in Maseru.

But perhaps that is the unique thing about Maseru.

It delivers its entertainment in the most unexpected ways.

For instance, a group of MPs this week decided to give us some free drama. They call themselves the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

They have been grilling those who worked for the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC).

NACOSEC doesn’t need any introduction because it taught us that money can grow legs.

Thanks to NACOSEC, we now know that civil servants have no monopoly over incompetence and corruption.

But the PAC decided we were still not done with our NACOSEC module.

So they spent the past two days interrogating some of its employees about missing money, rigged tenders, inflated prices and dishing out jobs.

Sadly, there was nothing to discover because we already knew all these things were happening. A wasted semester.

The Auditor General told us so many moons ago. Pigs in Semonkong have known about it as well.

Which brings Muckraker to the meat: why is the PAC repeating what we already know? The answer is that they are a bunch of clowns committed to entertaining us. Hooray!

They are clowns because we all know that none of those implicated in their hearings will be prosecuted or fired.

Those being grilled also know that the joke is on the committee.

The drill is simple. You appear before them, sweat a little bit as you answer their questions and pretend to be confused when they ask tricky ones. Admit the harmless crimes and deny everything else. Remember to keep a straight face and always say Mohlomphehi to make them feel important. They are petty like that.

The MPs will play to the gallery and pretend to be tough interrogators. Don’t take it personally because the clowns are pleasing the paying crowd in the circus.

This charade will soon be over and you will be back home with your family. Tomorrow you will walk back into your office with a spring in your step as if yesterday never happened.

PAC stands for Politicians Acting Concerned.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu

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