Won’t BRICS’ endorsement of Moorosi’s foundation ruffle America’s feathers?


“If the US monopoly capitalists persist in pushing their policies of aggression and war, the day is bound to come when they will be hanged by the people of the whole world. The same fate awaits the accomplices of the United States”Mao Tse-tung

On September 8, 1958, Mao Tse-tung in his capacity as both leader of the Chinese Communist Party and President of the People’s Republic of China uttered these seemingly prophetic words in his speech at the Supreme State Conference.

The intention was not merely to protest USA’s invasion of China’s territory (Taiwan) but the overall scheme of its foreign policy hinged on the Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) brainchild – The Grand Area. The latter comprised the whole world except China and the then United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) the centre of which was Russia.

According to the theorisation of the CFR, USA had to, by all means necessary; economically/politically dominate all countries within the area in order to maintain its global supremacy post WWII.What Chairman Mao protested was not so much the global expansion of American interests but the inherent disrespect (violation of sovereignties) with which “big brother” went about his business.

The protests, however, fell on deaf ears particularly because the Grand Area strategy not only comprised diplomacy in the conventional sense, aggression was to play a central role in subduing any opponents within the so classified area, specifically China and the USSR. This was a radical departure from the initial spirit of American foreign policy when non interference was central. A couple of years before becoming USA’s fourth president, John Quincy Adam, in his capacity as Secretary of State, reiterated this by once saying “America does not seek monsters to destroy but will influence the affairs of the world with the power of its example, not the imposition of its political principles”.

Can Moorosi’s foundation and BRICS’ romance trigger Lesotho-US hostility?

Sunday May 28, the Secretary General of the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) and current Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Nthati Moorosi, launched a foundation (Boiketlo Ba Basali) whose stated goal is to act as a platform to assist women to prosper in business.

Given the current status of women in Lesotho as a largely underrepresented and economically/financially excluded majority, the initiative will surely be embraced by its intended beneficiaries. However, on the background of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and the resultant, seemingly waning star of USA’s global supremacy, the latter may take offence. It is, however, improbable that like USA’s ambassador to South Africa (Rueben Brigety), Maria Brewer will throw any tantrums since weapons are not involved. Despite having toed big brother’s line in UNGA’s votes regarding the war, this overt flirtation with BRICS may surely annoy America which however has no legally legitimate grounds to act by withdrawing its assistance.

For instance, the central vein of the umbilical cord through which it sustains Lesotho is the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) whose board approved US$300 million (about M6 billion) last year. In the event USA is irritated and resolves to cut Lesotho down to size, it’s most probable recourse would be to activate (v) of Article 5 (Termination, Suspension and Refunds) of the Millennium Challenge Compact which states that termination can be brought when: an act has been committed or an omission or an event has occurred that would render Lesotho ineligible to receive United States economic assistance under Part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.), by reason of the application of any provision of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 or any other provision of law”

This part 1 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 first outlines the policy pertaining to US development assistance and thereafter lists 34 areas in which foreign governments are eligible for US assistance. Within the 78 pages of this first part of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, there is absolutely nothing on the basis of which development assistance to Lesotho can be threatened, let alone be terminated because of BRICS’s endorsement of Boiketlo ba Basali. Over and above everything, the initiative is not government’s but a cabinet minister’s initiative in her private, not official capacity.

This is the real reason Ambassador Brewer will not even raise a finger otherwise she would be picking a baseless fight. In these circumstances, the only thing she can pick without embarrassing herself and the mission she heads is a phone, diplomatically making Moorosi aware that she could have sought the same endorsement from them (USA) since Section 113 of part 1 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 makes provision for development assistance to integrate women into national economies which is what seemingly her initiative seeks to do.

It is, therefore, safe to conclude that no diplomatic row will ensue between Lesotho and US as a result of BRICS’ endorsement of Moorosi’s foundation otherwise Brewer should have long notified the government of a violation of either the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 or any other provision of law.

Might Moorosi’s initiative be a political sweetener?

Looking at this issue from a different perspective, isn’t it possible that the initiative is just a high level political mileage seeking stunt in the face of an impending political hemorrhage the current caretaker interim committee of RFP is bound to suffer?

After all, Moorosi’s position as RFP Secretary General has allegedly got her in the bad books of many of her comrades who may want her voted out at the leadership election conference she has so far refused to call. On this background, why must her internal detractors, primarily the so classified ‘Ma-court order’ and their followers not see her founding of this seemingly noble initiative as a frantic clutching at straws?

If this initiative is indeed meant to serve as her personal lifeboat to ensure that she politically stays afloat in the event the dreaded Ma-Court order successfully mobilise the grassroots and at the impending leadership election conference, are strong enough to break down the door of the captain’s (party leader) cabin to throw his crew (other members of NEC) out into the political high seas, doesn’t that at least make her a fighter with a bit of political foresight?

Why a bit; why not just political foresight? It is because if the dreaded ones can successfully storm the captain’s cabin and indeed throw a large part of the captain’s crew into the political high sea, she will not drown like the others.

On the other hand, she might be rescued by another ship (political party) in which she definitely won’t be parachuted into the captain’s cabin to once again be chief of staff (Secretary General). The bottom line is that she would still be politically alive and therefore still able to fight another day. In this turn of events, sensible political foresight would be not just to use her initiative as a temporary lifeboat to be neglected in the high seas but rather tag it along, nurture it and later ingeniously use it politically. How so? Women are a numerical majority and politics is a game of numbers. If the initiative successfully shores up women entrepreneurship across the country, in every district and literally every constituency, she automatically has a sizeable nationwide constituency that has special loyalty to her; potential foot soldiers and future funders.

Currently, Lesotho’s most unconventionally witty politician (Teboho Mojapela) took a more or less similar route and applied his unconventional wisdom to build a strong and loyal platoon of foot soldiers and where is he now?

He actually achieved what many conventional politicians failed to achieve, that is, win a constituency. Unfortunately, based on the grumbling in her party specifically about her political conduct, it is highly likely that this kind of unconventional politicking is out of Moorosi’s league largely because she is not even a conventional politician as yet.

Is there a link of BRICS’ flirtation with Moorosi’s initiative and Lesotho’s foreign policy?

In conclusion, BRICS’s endorsement of Moorosi’s initiative may mean one thing, that like many countries in Africa, Lesotho is cautiously open to BRICS membership. This may be a way to test the waters without providing tangible grounds to make America punitively angry because even though it might be angry, it has no grounds to punish Lesotho.

After all, though the founder of the initiative is a cabinet minister, the initiative itself is private. Watching global events unfold since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, it is glaringly obvious is that the Sesotho saying that “ha ntja e shoa matsetse a e baleha” seems to be happening with regard to USA. As a result of Biden’s political and economic short-sightedness, USA not only continued to go against John Quincy Adams’ mantra of not seeking monsters to destroy, it ensured that what Chairman Mao said about it one day being hanged by people of the whole world for its war mongering tendencies is actualised. Seemingly, Lesotho is warming up on the side of the pitch to be part of those people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *