Manipulation │ Tokayev: Kazakhstan occupies one of the leading places in the world in the fight against corruption

On April 26, 2019, during a public meeting, the current president of Kazakhstan, Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, stated that Kazakhstan occupies one of the leading places in the world in the fight against corruption.

Verdict: Manipulation 

According to current data of Transparency International, Kazakhstan is ranks 124 out of 180 positions, being in the same position with such countries as Djibouti, Gabon and Nepal. Transparency International measures the level of perception of corruption in the public sector, where a value of 0 indicates an extremely high level of corruption, and 100 shows an extremely low level.

Situation in the world: 

  • The index of more than 120 countries in the list is below 50 out of 100. 
  • The world average is 43 (and Kazakhstan with a rating of 31 is not included in this list). 
  • Only 20 countries have made significant progress over the past 7 years. 
  • The result has worsened in 16 countries (Kazakhstan has maintained its position). 

Among the real leaders are (in order of assessment) Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Singapore and Sweden.

Quantity and quality

In his speech, Mr. Tokayev spoke about quantitative and qualitative successes. Mr. Tokayev noted that lately in Kazakhstan “people who have held very high positions were punished for corruption,” adding that none of the attendees could hardly give similar examples in other countries. Here are international examples of the past few years. Note, the list includes not only ministers, but presidents as well: 

China (ranking 87) 

  • On June 11, 2015, Zhou Yongkang was sentenced to life imprisonment. Ex-minister of public security was accused of corruption, abuse of power and disclosure of state secrets. 
  • In 2016, his son Zhou Bin was convicted of complicity. 
  • Xinhua news agency reports about the disclosure of more than 104,000 corruption cases from 2012 to 2015, Chinese data claim the punishment of 1.5 million party members from the start of a new round of anti-corruption campaign in 2012. 
  • According to the official data, only in the first two months of 2019, 8,108 cases of violation of anti-corruption rules were detected in the country, and 11,607 people were punished (China applies capital punishment for corruption as well).

Brazil (ranking 105)

  • On July 12, 2017, former Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva was sentenced to 9.5 years in prison for corruption. On January 24, 2018, he not only lost the appeal, but the court also increased the term of imprisonment from 9.5 to 12 years. 
  • On March 21, 2019, Brazil, as part of an anti-corruption investigation, arrested former president Michel Temer, who served as head of state from 2016 to 2018. The ex-president was involved in several corruption episodes at once.

Russia (138 position)

  • On December 15, 2017, the former Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev was sentenced to 8 years in prison in a penal colony and a fine of 130 million rubles. In April 2019, the court sentenced the former mayor of Vladivostok, Igor Pushkaryov, to 15 years in a strict regime colony and a fine of 500 million rubles.
  • According to the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation in 2018, almost 12 thousand people were convicted of crimes of corruption, in 2017 about 10 thousand.

According to the latest data published on the State Public Awareness and Information Service web-site from 2001 to 2017, 10,931 people were convicted of corruption in the Republic of Kazakhstan. In 2018, 1,096 officials were prosecuted for corruption. (Of these, 20 heads of the republican level, 83 heads of the regional level and 134 city and district level.)

Based on the above data, improvement in the work of the anti-corruption department of the republic may be noted, but it is far from “one of the leading places” in the world in the fight against corruption. It is proved by the data of the World Bank:


Let us recall, this is not the first case of manipulation regarding the indicators of the fight against corruption, which is widespread in Kazakhstani media. In December 2018, Salauat Muksimov, Director of the Anti-Corruption Policy Department of the Agency for Civil Service Affairs and Anti-Corruption, made a number of statements, which were also published by the portal during the Astana International Business Forum. Then we checked those statements. 

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Павел Банников
Журналист, редактор. Филолог-славист. Соавтор и составитель ряда работ по журналистике и языку вражды. Работал журналистом и редактором в различных научно-популярных, развлекательных и общественно-политических изданиях Казахстана. Главный редактор проекта «Фактчек в Казахстане». Медиатренер, создатель образовательного проекта Factcheck.Academy