An Emirate instead of an Imarat (weekly review)
By Dzhambulat Are
GROZNY, Chechnya – The custom of appointing members of one’s own family to official positions and involving one’s brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and other relatives in the process of governing the territory under one’s control is nowadays usually thought to be a characteristic of oriental despotisms, Arab monarchies and tyrannical regimes. In medieval Europe, this type of government was known as “nepotism”, but in modern democratic countries it is prohibited by law. Although the current rulers of Central Asia call themselves presidents, regional heads, leaders of Islamic Republics and other Jamahiriyas, they are really no different from the shahs, khans, beys, kings, sultans and emirs of former days.
But the vast scale of nepotism in Chechnya makes the practices current in Central Asia look like examples of the triumph of democracy and human modesty. Having built a mosque on the square named after his father and next to the monument to him, Ramzan Kadyrov continues to create memorials to his ancestors, installing members of his immediate family in the institutions of power as he goes along.
Thus, on Thursday, February 5 the republic’s minister of external relations, national policy, press and information Shamsail Saraliyev announced that Chechnya will soon have televisions, mobile phones and computers marked with the brand name “Aymani”. For the uninitiated it should be pointed out that Aymani is the name of the Chechen president’s mother. And since the production of high-quality electronic equipment it is not a simple task, it will be taken care of in friendly South Korea.
Akhmad-Khadzhi Kadyrov, the President’s father, selected the people in his administration with the utmost caution. He realized that in a situation where a war was raging in the republic, he could not do without the support of all the segments of society in a land as complex in structure as Chechnya. For this reason, Akhmad-Khadzhi aimed to draw a wide variety of people into his government, sometimes even ignoring the barriers erected by personal insult in order to do so.
The son has gone much further than his father – the system of power he has constructed possesses the features of a mature and fully developed tyranny in which all the rules of decency have been consigned to oblivion. As he stood at the helm he appointed his maternal uncle Odes Baysultanov to the post of prime minister. Soon posts also appeared for other close relatives of the President.
Ramzan’s sister Zulay holds the post of presidential adviser. Akhmad-Khadzhi’s brother Magomet Kadyrov is a member of the Chechen parliament. Ramzan’s uncle once removed, Khozh-Akhmed Kadyrov, is ensconced in the chair of the Council of Alims.
And last but not least, the President’s mother Aymani also plays a part in the affairs of state. She is the head of the Akhmat Kadyrov Regional Charitable Foundation, a body not lacking in funds and run in grand style, often functioning as the sponsor of all kinds of investment projects and programs connected with the republic’s reconstruction and development.
The present condition of Chechnya’s institutions of power clearly demonstrates that while some are fighting for a mythical Imarat, others have managed to build their own Emirate. The Emir’s face gazes at you from the hundreds of posters with which the republic is covered.
Previous weekly reviews can be read at http://www.watchdog.cz/weekly.
(Translation by DM)