Why Tokayev Needs the Qazaqstan Halqyna Foundation?

Our first commentary on the President’s speech made at the meeting of the Mazhilis on January 11, 2022 was published already on the next day, that is on the 12th of January. Then we assessed “Akorda’s action plan articulated by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in the speech as a forced concession on the part of the Kazakh authoritarian political system and the “super-presidential” vertical to the Kazakh citizens.

We also said that “this concession is significant but not essential. And not threatening to the regime”.

Now, at the lapse of several days, we would like to add the following – the aforementioned action plan of Mr. Tokayev is an action plan of an authoritarian leader. To prove it, let us allude to the project that has already received support on the part of many Kazakhs. We are talking about the public foundation called “Qazaqstan Halqyna”.  

You will recall that this foundation was established upon Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s direct order. Here is it (text in bold by KZ.expert).

“Today I authorise establishing the Qazaqstan Halqyna public foundation. It will address the real problems in health care, education, and social support, for example, to help children with rare diseases. After all, the cost of treatment is simply unaffordable for most families.

We will build sports facilities for children in cities, districts, and villages. We will provide assistance to gifted children. We will support culture. We will help Almaty to recover from the terrible tragedy. We will support the families of the deceased police officers and the members of the military.

And these are but individual examples.

Let me underscore, this foundation does not belong to the President, the Government or any other governmental body. It is the foundation of all the people of Kazakhstan, the is the people’s foundation. It will be operating under the aegis of the Administration of the Government.

We will establish a board of trustees, appoint an honest and responsible chairperson.

We will ensure a complete transparency of the foundation’s activities, we will make sure it is accountable only to the public.

The plans, the budget, the projects of the foundation will be presented on its website. All the information will be publicly available.

The funds allocated to the foundation will be from private and public sources. It is planned to attract the help of international charitable organizations. The foundation will receive mandatory contributions from the lottery operator, the betting centre and other monopolists. Of course, we expect significant and regular, I repeat, regular contributions to the foundation from large businesses. 

Thanks to the First President, a group of very profitable companies and people who are rich even by international standards has emerged in the country.

I believe that the time has come to pay tribute to the people of Kazakhstan and help them on a systematic and regular basis.

So, the Government will have to select the companies and come with them to the agreement as to the size of their annual contributions to the foundation.

Apart from that, I expect those people who though possessing large resources remain in the sidelines be proactive.

I am certain that the foundation may become yet another instrument for consolidating the society, that it may invigorate the feeling of social fairness in our citizens”.

Now then, the Qazaqstan Halqyna Foundation was created in a heartbeat. And, according to its newly appointed chairman of the management board Bolat Zhamishev, four charity institutions that “are actively cooperating with the social block of the Government, i.e. the ministries of healthcare, education and social protection” became the founders of the organisation. To attract these four institutions as the founders was the initiative of the said ministers.

Moreover, the foundation is already actively collecting money and quiet a lot of it. By the way, Mr. Zhamishev has already said what kind of amount he expects to receive – about 150 bln tenge.

At the same time, the proactive members of the civil society have already pointed out that Qazaqstan Halqyna was created in a weird format and with an unprecedented speed. In our opinion, something like that can only be achieved in the context of the authoritarian political system and the “super-presidential” vertical.

Why do we think so? Because, in a normal country, the task of providing the all-encompassing support to citizens and businesses that have suffered during tragic events would have been imposed on insurance companies, local authorities and charity organisations possessing the necessary reputation and experience.

Clearly, in Kazakhstan, the former are simply incapable of providing such support to the uninsured citizens and businesses and the latter are weak and corrupt. But who precluded Akorda from attracting reputable and experienced charity organisations as the founders of Qazaqstan Halqyna? No one.  

So, as the founders of the organisation, we have two unfamiliar structures – the Public Control and Monitoring Republican Civic Association and the Menin Atamekenin Civil Association and two physical bodies – Elmira Atashevna Aliyeva and Bakhyt Madenietovna Baygaliyeva.

To confirm this fact, let us reprint the certificate of the legal body registration received and posted on Facebook by attorney Zhangeldy Suleymanov for which we thank him.

Now, let’s go back to the unprecedented speed of implementing Tokayev’s decision. We at KZ.expert believe it can be done only when the command is given by the head of the state.

You can see it for yourself. The establishing of the Qazaqstan Halqyna Foundation was announced on January 11, 2022. On January 14, 2022, the foundation was registered as a legal body and, on January 15, it already had a bank account. The next day, January 16th, the board of trustees was established and the chairman was elected. It took only five days to perform all these tasks.

Now. The contributions from Kazakhstan’s big businesses will serve as the main source of Qazaqstan Halqyna’s funding. This fact was publicly confirmed by the President at his January 21 meeting with business representatives.

Let us quote Akorda’s press-release titled “The Head of the State Held a Meeting with Local Business Representatives”. 

“Let me stress yet again – this is not a governmental foundation, it is the foundation of the Kazakh people. Therefore, its activities must be conducted without lengthy bureaucratic procedures, without being over-cautious when making decisions e.t.c. The aid must be specific, efficient and targeted. All the largest companies will annually contribute a percentage of their taxable income to the foundation that will use it for helpful charitable activities. The size of the percentage will be determined by the Government. I hope the business community will wholeheartedly support this initiative and will assist the foundation in the implementation of its projects”, concluded the President”.

We are rather critical in our assessment of many a Kazakh entrepreneur from the pool of those whom Kassym-Jomart Tokayev addressed on January 21, 2022, since we do remember how and thanks to whom they have earned their fortunes.

However, we have no doubt that, in this instance, the President of Kazakhstan was acting just as authoritatively and with severe violations of the law as his predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev.  

Do you remember the famous expression of the Elbasy that he can take anyone by the hand and bring them to court? We would like to know how Tokayev’s demand that businesses pay a certain percentage of their income to the Qazaqstan Halqyna Foundation (the percentage that exceeds the amount of taxes established by the Kazakh Internal Revenue Code) differs from the previous despotic acts on the part of the Elbasy against all and everyone?

In our opinion, it does not. And this allows is to suggest that, as a politician and a statesman, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is a “product” of Nursultan Nazarbayev and a heir of his policies and practices.

As for the Qazaqstan Halqyna Foundation, we believe it is but an instrument in the hands of the new autocrat and his team that it there to help them to solve the current problems against the backdrop of the state of emergency.

Note that the idea of establishing a foundation directly linked to Tokayev is quite productive and has a big political potential both in terms of reputation-building and money.

As for the former, the situation is quite clear. Unquestionably, we will see enough PR-activities related to how Qazaqstan Halqyna is helping the Kazakh citizens and businesses and to the sincere (and not quite so) commendations addressed to the head of the state who has created it.

As for the latter, according to information of our insiders (we have already written on this subject), Tokayev’s team has begun preparing to the 2024 presidential elections. Therefore, Qazaqstan Halqyna may very well become one of the important instruments for attracting money to the shadow election fund.

You will recall, in his time, that Tokayev’s predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev had had the exact same instrument.

For, it is not the members of the board of trustees and perhaps not even the chairman of the management board but Tokayev’s team that will be involved in attracting money to the foundation. So, where is the guarantee that these clerks will speak with big businesses differently and not in the way it has been done before, in other words, demanding to pay compensations to them personally or to some secret election fund?

We have no doubt that, if the events unfold in this way, a number of big businessmen will agree to follow it. Due to that simple reason that it will be to their advantage. Besides, they are quite used to such practice – to them, it is a kind of fee they pay for acknowledgement and protection.


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