20 августа 2015 19:44

'Shooting corrupt officials' in Kazakhstan proves controversial


Photo courtesy of "Nasha Gazeta" Photo courtesy of "Nasha Gazeta"

Would you shoot a corrupt official?

Would you shoot a corrupt official?

This is exactly the question people near a mall in Kostanai were asked on the City Day of 15 August, Tengrinews reports citing Nasha Gazeta. And even though the weapon at hand was a water gun and an official was represented by a black flat plywood piece with only a white mask for its face, not many people were willing to “shoot.” It appeared as though only children were innocent enough to pull the trigger.

The campaign was organized by the local branch of the Agency for Civil Service and Anti-Corruption. They put together four plywood pieces with the words "corrupt" written on them. Drawings of dollars protruding from the figures' pockets completed the picture.

Employees of the agency prepared water pistols and handouts "How to protect oneself from corruption abuses." Passers-by were offered to shoot at the figures.

Townspeople passed the figures with a smile but acted wearily when offered to shoot.

One woman, when noticing the black figures in masks, looked stunned. “So, who’s made all of this,” she said while taking out a mobile phone to call somewhere. Her friend, noticing a banner beside said: "These are anti-corruption agents, let’s go.”

Children, on the contrary, had no hesitation in their eyes. Several of them gladly accepted the task.

Several minutes into the campaign, some official came up and asked to remove the mannequins. “It is a holiday, why are you doing this? You should have warned someone! The akim (governor) walks here, and now we have you here!” the official said. After a brief conversation, the campaign was wrapped up.

Tengrinews asked the organizers to explain what they were trying to achieve.

They said they wanted to attract attention – a goal they consider successfully accomplished. According to the head of the Kostanai Oblast department of anti-corruption education and interaction with the public of the Agency of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption Rustem Bolat, there was absolutely no intention to seem cruel.

"All of us played with water guns in our childhood and no one saw anything special or bad about it. The same here. We are not offering to shoot them with machine guns. The guns were filled with blue paint. It's just a game that both children and adults can understand: 'don’t be corrupt and don’t help corrupt officials, otherwise you'll be branded and doused with blue paint',” he said.

He also said that they put out the figures after the Akim passed the spot not during his tour. The official added that the reaction of the public was generally positive. He did not rule out the possibility of repeating the campaign.

By Dinara Urazova

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