Several unusual corruption cases in Tajikistan reveal that some kids have a rather unflattering idea about how government works. Minors are impersonating officials – including a member of the authoritarian president’s family – to solicit bribes or favors.
Thirty-eight-year-old Moldovan Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici has made a lot of reform promises. But after seeing hundreds of millions of dollars vanish in a banking scandal, Moldovan taxpayers’ patience is wearing thin.
Tajikistan is a donor-dependent state, but that does not stop President Emomali Rahmon’s administration from undertaking extravagant building projects. The latest case of grandiosity involves the construction of what the president’s website boasts will be Central Asia’s largest theater.
“Only two universities in Kyrgyzstan are worth entering,” says Emir, an 11th-grade student in Bishkek. The rest, he believes, do not value scholarship and instead see students as a means to make a profit.
Few Kazakhstanis were surprised when a top organizer of the 2011 Asian Winter Games, the biggest sporting spectacle the country has ever held, was jailed last October. Aidar Musin was found guilty of using $3 million in state funds earmarked for the event to buy himself luxury cars and prime real estate.
American taxpayers spent hundreds of thousands of dollars refurbishing a women’s shelter outside Kyrgyzstan’s capital less than five years ago. Though the Central Asian country is desperately short of such crisis centers, the shelter never functioned and, a member of parliament now says, was improperly privatized instead.
A money-laundering scandal is casting Moldova’s judiciary in an unfavorable light and is raising concerns about the government’s commitment to reforms needed to keep European Union integration on track.