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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

It is Evident that President Hakainde Hichilema Struggles with Telling the Truth

Columns It is Evident that President Hakainde Hichilema Struggles with Telling the Truth

By Sean Tembo – PeP President

1. One thing that is for sure is that successfully running the affairs of a nation is a lot of work. If you are going to be a successful President then you need to do a lot of things right. Among those things however is appointing competent people into decision-making positions, listening to advice without feeling undermined, being sincere when you talk to the people and focusing on the way forward as opposed to dwelling on the past. However, our new President Mr Hakainde Hichilema appears to struggle to tick these boxes so far.

2. On the issue of competence, l have argued in the past and l wish to argue now that one of the reasons why our country has failed to make any significant economic progress 56 years after getting independence is because various successive Presidents have not made it a priority to appoint the best and brightest Zambians to decision-making positions. Instead of advertising vacancies so as to give all Zambians an opportunity to apply, they share these jobs quietly and secretly like roasted groundnuts at an overnight village festival.

Successive Presidents would appoint people who are either in their phonebook contacts or those who are whispered to them by their close advisors, friends or family relations. What this means is that those Zambians who do not have any political connections never have a chance to be appointed to a top decision-making position regardless of how competent they might be. The end result is that you end up with a Government that has a sub-optimal pool of skills. Or to put it in simple English, you end up with an incompetent Government.

And it does not matter how competent you the individual President is, if the people that you appointed to decision-making positions are incompetent, the quality of decisions that trickles down is poor and consequently the entire Government is set for failure. I was hopeful that President Hakainde Hichilema with his colorful CV would be the President that would change this trend by extending a fair opportunity to each and every Zambian to be employed to decision-making positions. But it appears evident so far that my hope is misplaced. There is no change in this area and consequently Zambians should not expect much difference to the way our economy will be managed going forward compared to the way it has been managed for the past 56 years since independence.

All because we have yet again failed to assemble a group of the best and brightest citizens to help in converting our economic potential into actual wealth for the benefit of our people. All because the President has decided to run the nation like a personal farm where jobs are given in order to settle personal favors instead of on merit. Whereby Zambians with no political connections stand no chance of contributing to the countries development, no matter how competent they might be. It is really sad.

3. On the issue of the President being able to take advice without feeling undermined, it is evident that we again have a problem in this area. I have argued in the past and l wish to argue again here that a President should never be filled with self-importance if he is going to succeed. When people advise you, there is need to pay attention to what they are saying than being strong-headed and always believing that they are trying to undermine you and your plans. So far we have strongly advised President Hichilema against the idea of getting an IMF and putting the country on an IMF programme. We have also strongly advised the President against making careless statements about things such as our national debt and the level of corruption to the outside world the way he did during his interview with the BBC. Like l have said before, the reason we give this advice to the President is because we want him to succeed.

It is not because we are undermining him. But despite our advice, it appears that the President is very strong-headed and incapable of listening to advice from us lesser beings. He has made it clear that the issue of getting an IMF loan is non-negotiable despite the likely retrogressive IMF conditionalities such as employment freeze, wage freeze, privatization of parastatals such as ZESCO and Zamtel, scrapping of social welfare schemes such as Farmer Input Support Program and Social Cash Transfer and yesterday the former Minister of Finance Hon. Bwalya Ng’andu told the nation that the IMF also wanted Government to increase the prices of fuel as well as electricity tariffs as a conditionality of getting an IMF loan.

First, he lied to the world that he had inherited empty coffers. And when he was challenged that he inherited about US$3 billion when he was sworn into office on 24th August 2021, he then switched his narrative and said his statement that the country’s coffers are empty was said in the context that we have US$3 billion in reserves but we owe US$12 billion.

A certain self-proclaimed “Economist” who once worked for ZNBC was arguing that the conditionalities which l had earlier listed was mere fear-mongering, so with the confirmation from the former Minister of Finance who had directly engaged the IMF, I wonder what this “Economist” would have to say. To say that these impending IMF conditionalities are retrogressive to the nation is an understatement. You see countrymen and women, the only way to develop our country is to do two things; seal all tax and non-tax revenue leakages and increase domestic production.

For us to increase the productivity of our economy, the key production inputs such as electricity and fuel have to be affordable. What the IMF is asking us to do by demanding that we increase the prices of fuel and electricity is to undermine the growth potential of our economy. Already the price of electricity is too high and we are supposed to be talking about reducing it and not increasing it.

Most households now only use electricity for lighting and have gone back to charcoal for purposes of cooking and heating water, which is causing serious damage to our environment due to the cutting down of trees. Now can you imagine what the further impact to the environment will be if Bally gets his way and we go on an IMF program and we increase the price of fuel and electricity as per IMF demands? Brothers and sisters, the IMF programme is wrong at so many levels. Let us keep our fingers crossed that President Hichilema will listen to our advice and have a change of heart on this matter. Otherwise we are doomed.

4. On the issue of sincerity, it is evident that President Hakainde Hichilema struggles with telling the truth. I wonder whether this is because of his prolonged stay in the opposition where he had made it his lifestyle to exaggerate the bad and underplay the good just so as to remain relevant. But Mr Hakainde Hichilema should know that he is no longer an opposition leader now. The people of Zambia elected him as Republican President on 12th August. Therefore, the President must learn to act presidential.

First, he lied to the world that he had inherited empty coffers. And when he was challenged that he inherited about US$3 billion when he was sworn into office on 24th August 2021, he then switched his narrative and said his statement that the country’s coffers are empty was said in the context that we have US$3 billion in reserves but we owe US$12 billion.

Well, as a Chartered Accountant of many decades of experience in public practice, l want to tell you sir that that is the silliest explanation ever advanced in the history of finance. You see, you cannot compare what is in reserves to what we owe which is due at various intervals into the future, without taking into consideration the fact that Zambia is a going concern and will keep generating revenue going forward.

Already we are told that the Zambia Revenue Authority has exceeded its targeted revenue collection for the year and yet we still have 4 more months to go. What this likely means is that we are going to have a budget surplus this year. Since ZRA had collected about ZMW60 billion as at 31st August 2021, we can estimate the quantum of the surplus as ZMW30 billion.

At today’s exchange rate, that is approximately US$2 billion which is enough to pay the Eurobonds that are due in 2022 and 2023. The expectation is that the UPND Government should ensure that the nation records another budget surplus next year and the next year and the next year so that we can build our reserves. So tell us again Bally, why do we need an IMF loan?

Please sir stop lying to the world that our economy is in a crisis because it is not. Just work had to make things even better from where you found them. In fact, based on your flip flopping the past few days whereby one minute you something on BBC and the next minute you tweet something else, another minute your Press Aide says something different, the nation and the international community is beginning to have doubts about your competence.

Everyone is wondering whether you’re really the finance whiz kid that you had portrayed yourself while in opposition? And also stop sending people to harass us when we expose your untruths and inconsistencies. You are our President now and you swore an oath to protect each and every Zambian including those of us who challenge you. So don’t pay lip service to the issue of our security. Tell your supporters to stay away before we have a major security incident. If they want to challenge us, they should do so with sober counter-arguments and not threats, insults and innuendo. The fact that you are now the President does not mean that Zambia is now no longer our country. This is our country too.

51 COMMENTS

  1. Bwana Sean Tembo is shamelessly lying .HH only inherited about $1.4bn the rest is just a rainy day funds recently gotten from IMF.

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  2. This kind of criticism is out of this world! Before someone even constitutes his cabinet and moves into state House. Let the new dawn government settle in office and work for at least 100 days, that’s when you can start providing checks and balances

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  3. what this shallow analysis shows is that there only one true opposition party in Zambia under the pf dictatorship–UPND. Time will tell what dealings this briefcase politician had with the past government of thugs. One can only hope his hands are clean. As for competence, I true scholar would observe the first five years to make a true and proper analysis…the cabinet has not even been announced yet and so one wonders what this so called analysis is based on.

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  4. Ba Sean Tembo, election campaigns are over and HH still has 5years to proove to Zambians whether he is capable or not. You were in love with the Lungu`s government for 7 years, and you never uttered such strong criticism like you are doing now. WHY? because you lived in fear !!. Now HH has given you the freedom, is that NOT an achievement done in 14days? You are expecting HH to resolve within 14days issues created by 10yrs PFgovernment ? Ati..positions are not advertized…….where on earth are ministerial position advertised, so SEAN is telling Zambians why he has been so vocal, in an effort to be visible so he gets a position. Don’t lie ati some UPND supporters want to beat you, nope, they are warning you because you are becoming Kambwili verson2.

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  5. HH is a liar. .he told people in Mkushi that he uses his own personal plane for campaign and yet he doesn’t own one…we have a liar in chief in state house…HH IS A CROOK AND A LIAR. …….EDGAR LUNGU WAS A BANDIT…notice how HH wants to surround himself with “yes boss” appointees….this tells you that he has alot of secrets

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    • You hate HH to the marrow but let it sink into your skull that you are stuck with him until perhaps 2026. Could it be that the past regime gave you construction contracts that you didn’t deserve and may be cut off hence your crusade to crucify the man? Just asking.

  6. The Ngwangwazi, the call boys, the cadres are all back at their points of operations because the promised jobs in one week even after three weeks have not been given. Reality is that this cannot happen but as they say a drowning man will hang on even on a piece of grass. Desperate men can believe anything. Also don’t blame the man because like our youth he was also desperate.

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  7. Thank you Mr Tembo for your fearless and honest approach. Going by your analysis, Zambia is moving backwards unless our president listens. The question is, does he listen? Only time will tell.

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  8. And now his blind loyalists are saying he has 5 years to prove himself….and this is exactly the opposite from what he was saying during campaigns…..2 days after being sworn in…..i didn’t say it…HH did…now please stop defending him
    HH is just as bad as Lungu maybe even worse

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  9. Sean Tembo you are a bitter person, there were more spoiled votes than the votes you got in the election, I would change my career

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  10. Sean Tembo is a bitter man? That’s what PF members used to say about Prof Muna Ndulo, Shishuwa and others. You called for freedom of speech so let it flow without you calling other people names. Otherwise nothing apart from the resident of State House has changed.

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  11. “Strong-headed and incapable of listening to advice from us lesser beings” a.k.a thick headed and u5-ish.
    “Please sir stop lying to the world that our economy is in a crisis because it is not.” a.m.t ECL is vindicated. He is a genius who wanted to Make Zambia Great Again, MAZAGA.
    “Everyone is wondering whether you’re really the finance whiz kid that you had portrayed yourself while in opposition?” please remove everyone and say some of as. He convinced you the weak not us. Leopard does not change its spots.
    “And also stop sending people to harass us when we expose your untruths and inconsistencies.” Mapatizya formula in Government. You will be crucified for voting for them. Violence is their nature. We warned you.
    a.m.t => also means that

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  12. Empty tins make a lot of noise.
    The mans party has;
    0 MPs
    0 Mayors
    0 Councillors
    Yet he is talking the loudest.

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  13. ” First, he lied to the world that he had inherited empty coffers. And when he was challenged that he inherited about US$3 billion when he was sworn into office on 24th August 2021, he then switched his narrative and said his statement that the country’s coffers are empty was said in the context that we have US$3 billion in reserves but we owe US$12 billion.

    Well, as a Chartered Accountant of many decades of experience in public practice, l want to tell you sir that that is the silliest explanation ever advanced in the history of finance.”

    Hehehe…not all Zambians are gullible!

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  14. Am surprised that UPND is still talking about PF this…PF that…please their time is up…you’re now in control…how are you going to create Jobs….everything is still expensive and still no any signs of prices going down….no cash in circulation…are we about to become the next Zimbabwe…..next it will bempty shelves in supermarkets…..HH is about to destroy Zambia beyond repair but we won’t let him do it…he will be stopped and kicked out of office before even his term ends….WE HATE LIARS AND CROOKS ..

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  15. Sean, I appreciate your concerns believe me. You were encouraged to KYC before August 12, 2021 but you would not listen.
    Some things will never change then in opposition and now in Government.
    What are you telling us? Uhm!
    Hard habits die hard, boss. “Ngalulasanikwa” is a lamentation that never changes things. People voted, they rejected ECL and preferred HH. Give HH space to work, good or bad. He is the people’s choice. If he never listened and renounce violence while in opposition, how dare you expect the difference now. Let’s learn to live with it.
    We are learning to leave with this step father. You’re encouraged to do checks and balances regardless, but others will say sour grapes.

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  16. Whooooooooooooooooooops!
    Oh now it’s 100 days?
    Bayuuuupeeeendeee, what happened to the Kwacha appreciating to K7 per US$1 the day of inauguration? Free education within 1 Week of inauguration? Teachers – youths being employed 1 week after inauguration? Fuel going @ K7 per ltr hours after inauguration? Fertilizer going @ K250 per 50kg bag after inauguration? Don’t forget in 100 days now 15 bags of fertilizer per registered farmer.
    Bushe mwalibeshiba ba Operation Binoculars imwe?
    Ifyo ifya 100 days awe ba sir.
    A promise is a promise, stop shifting goal posts. In any case, time flies indeed. Comrades these are real promises Hachilema need to attend to IMF or not; Empty coffers or not. We will not eat excuses.

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  17. So far Tembo’s articles are systematic and factual. Whether you like it or not this man is intelligent and those who are not seeing his intelligence are just pretending. Only that truth hurts. Upnd was voted for on the premise of job creation, poverty eradication, etc but IMF policies and conditionalities will ensure the very opposite of what the Upnd was voted for is effected. As Tembo points out, we are not in a very serious economic malaise to warrant the involvement of an organisation like IMF in our midst which will consequently lead to the grave suffering of our people in this country.

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  18. Ppwahahahahahahahaha, kikikikikikijukija Hehehehehehe nkunkunkunkyu hahahahahaha kwekwekwekwe kwikwikwikwikwi kwokwokwokwo! Uwiii!

    Not a doubt, they could not eat roads but we will not eat Excuses.

    Eating IMF money is selling your country. Don’t let him sell Zambia.
    BaZed good morning. Yaba ba farao kuti bakusekesha.
    I gather my farm is doing well back home. My farm produce I will eat, what about you? Start fixing your own family affair, I bet your *$$, bally won’t fix own poverty, taku. Work hard folks.

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  19. So Mutinta is also an attention seeker after playing humble all these years…she loves being in the spotlight…she’s just a house wife and she wasn’t elected by voters but you see in tow whenever the President is having meetings….stay in your lane madam…Zambia is not a Kingdom….remain a housewife and dress simple not monga ni gunyu masaka

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  20. Kikikikikiki
    Sean, wapya baisa. Pf beat the hell out’a you once. The deads are also coming after you? You write a critical post baisakuponona, you write another one bakuponona nafuti. Kanshi kufimba lyonsefye. Until you stop criticizing their god.

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  21. Thanks Sean for being brave and fearless under this illegal regime of violent thugs . You are risking your life for the truth and for that I salute you

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  22. I must admit, this is one of the articles I have read from start to finish and makes a lot of sense. Those who wish HH well should stop and listen otherwise they fall in the same category as their predecessors PF. Zambians protested against the arrogance of PF by voting them out of office. UPND shouldn’t feel they have an open ticket to do as they please. You have an impatient electorate who will not tolerate any silliness. You can fix your political opponents as much as you like but the people of this great nation will have always have the last laugh.

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  23. Sean Tembo,most likely your wife slapped you for leaving the Alliance after Eddie lungu bribed you,hoping he will be re-elected.

    Lungu lost,so did you. What a loser..your article is sour grapes!

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  24. In my opinion, UPND already had a cabinet in waiting. But the problem of voting along tribal party lines means majority MPs are from one tribe. Cabinet ministers are appointed from ruling party MPs. However, Hon Kambwili put a spanner in the works by exposing to the nation the tribal voting patterns of UPND. Appointing a majority Tonga cabinet from majority Tonga UPND MPs will prove him right. So the problem causing the delay in appointing a cabinet is how do you only appoint a cabinet from the majority Tonga MPs and remains from the two affiliated strongholds? It means long-standing members will have to be left out causing dissent. It’s a tricky situation but we are waiting.

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  25. Hi Zean Zero Tembo! You are just a lost guy trying to get audience by talking bad on an strong and loved man!

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  26. Banda Andyford PAC 0
    Tembo Sean PeP 0
    Some of those points you ve outlined sean are very critical ,,, but you have no mp , the performance of your party in the elections was poor or below average…
    Dont you think all this will just fall on deaf ears?

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  27. Please stop calling Sean Tembo bitter once you start saying that you will start segregating individuals like the previous regime…I am just surprised for a high flying accountant Sean Tembo is very impatient, how can you start making bullet points on some one who has been in govt 2 weeks and not even formed a cabinet.

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  28. Mr ST zero sounds like he is a very bitter man. I would advise he took some off to sober up. He is increasingly making himself irrelevant with unnecessary write ups such as this

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  29. @Moses P Sichula September 5, 2021 At 10:09 am
    I totally agree with your sentiments on Sean E. Tembo. He means well and a lot of people on here will do well to digest and analyse what he says soberly and without prejudice. Having said that, i want to point out that progress be it political or economical will continue to elude us, as Zambians, because of a lack of continuity. This new regime is hell bent to impose it’s ideas and completely disregard the positives from the previous regime. We have been voting out regimes rather than trying to install competent people to run the affairs of our nation….. In 1991 it was about the removal of KK; RB Had to go because of his offsprings who were slowly but surely capturing the state with their dealings; And now, ECL who was evidently a weak…

  30. The willful stupidity in these comments. Why hasn’t HH fixed billions of dollars in debt that PF recklessly accumulated over 7 years. Are you really this stupid or just pretending?

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  31. Sean Tembo has never had so much freedom of expression as he has now and he is really taking advantage of it. Good for him. In the last PF regime, Kaizar Zulu and Davies Mwila would have sent cadres to beat him up by now. Thank God for a new dawn. Having said that, let us answer his concerns. 1. Appointments that have been made have been on merit. The security chiefs HH has appointed DESERVE to be in those positions not because they were kind to HH in prison, but because they acted PROFESSIONALLY against all odds. Their actions will benefit someone else one day if they were to remain the same.

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  32. It’s on this forum that I said that this man isn’t as clever as his supporters portray him. Now that God has given him power we’ve just kept our fingers crossed. So far the indications are that he’s worse than the man without a vision

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  33. We create monsters. Before we create them so, everyone starts innocently.
    Is is so hard for presidents to say they are sorry or they are wrong on some issue. That ego, coupled with our praises for them makes them become untouchables. If anyone is untouched, he becomes a dictator slowly. If Zambians don’t check there president’s deeds, they won’t work. Work and jobs are assessed and measured on daily basis.
    Don’t wait for end of contract or 5 years to seek redress.

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  34. The devil you know is better than an Angel you don’t know….HH is worse than Lungu…HH is very arrogant and he Mr Know it all…now that he has power…forget it….he will rule Zambia like it’s his own house….forget about respecting the voters……

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  35. Ladies and gentle men, we need opposition like Mr. Tembo. There is no way we can continue accepting mediocre leadership , a leadership of excuses even in this new error. If really we suffered in PF , let’s no play hypocrisy now. WE need serious accountability for the new government and we expect nothing less than better performance than PF. PF did its part , so let move on.

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  36. The truth of the matter is that any business with IMF has its on concequences…for those who were there during the Chiluba era will testify what Zambia went through. To repeat that hash experience is no easy game especially now

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  37. Once you read chapter 2, it contradicts whatever follows in the article, rendering the article to an extent, limited. Well, the author can say or pen down whatever he wishes, its now a free nation, i think. I feel the administration has enough advisors.

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  38. Sean Tembo is doing his job as an opposition by providing check and balances. There is nothing wrong with what he is suggesting. UPND just need to respond. No need for threats. He is doing his job. I’m sure UPND are not used to this because they are too used to criticising others. You have now taken centre stage and you better get used to scruitiny, that’s what real democracy is about. Issue based politics and that what Sean is doing.

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  39. This article is written under the umbrella of free speech and freedom of press. The ideas shared are right on the edge of the opposition envelope.
    One point I want to underscore is the idea of going to the IMF. Former colonizers collectively formed the IMF and the World Bank help themselves out of the ravages of Second World War. After achieving that goal they positioned themselves to prevent African countries from establishing strong manufacturing sectors and industries. The idea of raising the cost of energy is to make sure that the manufacturing industry in Zambia and in Africa does not fly. That means Zambia and other African countries remaining primary exporters of raw materials rather than finished products. In this vein Mr. Tembo is right.
    Further, I wish to say that it is too…

  40. flag Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee

    Do we just want to find faults and criticise at opportunity. Man loves to hear his own voice. HH has just been voted in overwhelmingly by the Zambian people… read the mood, they still have a ‘honeymoon’ with him so I doubt they will listen to you. You risk losing some relevance by the time people will need proper criticism.
    By the way I have never seen anywhere in the democratic world where political appointments are advertised. At working level, yes. Strange!

  41. I think IMF is a Nah, nah, , how long are we going to be dealing with these organisation they give us loans ok, but they benefit more then we do. For us is unending debts paying country with our natural resources at the disposal they make sure they milk us before they let go of us!!!

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