Labour Exporters Protest Ministry’s ‘Illegal’ Move To Ask For Bank Details

The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development in a rare move wrote to all external labour recruitment companies asking them to submit list of employees and bank statement for financial year 2017/2018.

The letter date 5th June, 2019 and signed off by the permanent secretary Pius Bigirimana says the companies should submit as required a list of employees working in each company and the bank statements for financial year 2017/2018 through Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) 10th June, 2019.

However the companies have protested saying the request by the ministry is unlawful and tramples on human rights of said Ugandans. Export companies say that submitting bank statements is not a requirement under the Employment (Recruitment of Ugandan Migrant workers abroad Regulations Statutory Instrument number 62 of 2005 under which export of labor is regulated.

Also pointed out by the companies is the Bank of Uganda Final Consumer Protection Guidelines 2011under guideline 7(3) (a) which provides for safeguarding of consumer information and precludes financial service providers from disclosing information about a consumer to a third party except where the financial service provider is compelled by law to disclose the information or where the disclosure is made with express consent of the consumer.

Also, a bank statement falls within the definition of data which is defined under the Data Protectionand Privacy Act to mean “information that is processed by means of equipment operating automatically in response to instructions given for that purpose.

And section 10 of the Data Protection and Privacy Act provides for protection of privacy and states that a data collector, data processor or data controller shall not collect, hold or process personal data in a manner which infringes on the privacy of a data subject.

The Constitution of Republic of Uganda Article 27 explicitly recognizes the right to privacy and calls for its protection. The companies urge that privacy is a fundamental human right enshrined in numerous international human rights instruments such as Article 12 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Who Is Munyagwa, Whose Confusion At Cosase Has Rattled Kadaga?

Munyagwa Mubarak Sserunga, the chairman of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) and legislator representing people of Kawempe South is best known for his comical character.

In recent days, he has made himself a mock for people who understand parliamentary business better than him, a first term MP with a lot to learn, when he re-opened a Bank of Uganda probe in defunct banks that had been debated and passed by Parliament.

The report awaits action as recommendations were made including the sacking of Bank of Uganda officials who messed up the banking sector. It is alleged that Munyagwa is knowingly or unknowingly being used by “guilty” officials at BoU as well as top bankers who were caught on the wrong side of banking rules and procedures.

That Munyagwa could be hoodwinked by Kampala’s economic hit-men, is not surprising due to his lack of experience, ignorance, excitement and unbridled arrogance. However many analysts are more forgiving saying he found the probe the easiest thing he would stage his theatrics.

Munyagwa’s theatrics are legendary, and he could not have been separated from the melodrama that has become his personality. His entry into politics was announced when he reportedly kidnapped himself and later he announced he had been found, in a Kinigeria-like movie script.

That was then, in November 2010, when he was aspiring to be Kawempe Division mayor. Munyagwa standing on the Social Democratic Party ticket, spread word around that he had been kidnapped from his car along the northern by pass. Up to this day, he doesn’t talk about that scenario as would any politician who may want to show their invincibility or persecution.

However, Munyagwa lied to the unsuspecting public that as he neared to Kalerwe, he was kidnapped from his Toyota Noah station wagon, UAN 802Y, leaving stains of blood in the car, but when he was showed up, he had not slightest cut, apart from his Muslim dark mark on his forehead.

Then going by the slogan, “mugaati gwa bata”, Munyagwa emerged out of the blue, when he reported to Kajjansi police station along Entebbe road dressed in a sleeveless T-shirt and pair of shorts.

In 2010, stories of kidnaps were not so rampant, and it is not clear what Munyagwa did to regain his friend since police and family were not involved in his rescue. At the time of re-appearance, his family, was allegedly in the meeting to find way to allocate his children among relatives where they would be taken care of.

However, he had nothing on him to explain where blood stains found inside his abandoned car, came from, apart from street jokes that Munyagwa slaughtered a chicken inside his car to deceive the unsuspecting public that he was actually injured before his fake “kidnap”.

Since, then, Munyagwa’s comic character was born and few people see him as a serious person.

Few politicians come to the press to promise what they intend to do, was “going to be serious”, However, when he was made Cosase chairman,Mr Munyagwa was aware of his unserious character, so he promised “change of character”.

The Cosase chairman also said that he was “double faced” and people would be surprised about his “change of character”.

Munyagwa therefore has served Ugandans with enough skits that it is difficult to separate him from theatrics even during the course of his work in parliament.

Munyagwa has been known for his comical character even in activism which came to full dose in 2011 during the ‘Walk to Work’ protests against rising food and fuel prices in the country.

By this time, Munyagwa had won Mayor of Kawempe division position which he used to his advantage. And after serving the five years as mayor, Munyagwa was elected to parliament. “I wanted to be part of the change movement,” Munyagwa told the media in 2016 after winning a seat in parliament.

“Many Ugandans take me to be terribly stupid because of how I branded myself,” he said, smiling. As a child, Munyagwa admired to be a soldier. He recalls as a nine year old boy, meeting by accident Maj. Gen Fred Rwigyema.

Munyagwa recalls that he was trekking through the bushes close to Kilembe mines in Kasese, western Uganda, with his mother when they came in contact with an army parade commanded by Rwigyema. He was swept away by the saluting and respect that one man had from hundreds of soldiers.

He told his mother that one day he would work hard to become a “military general” like Rwigyema. Rwigyema is one of the NRA 1981-86 bush war hero, but, died in Rwanda in 1990 when Rwandese exiles in Uganda attacked Juvenal Habyarimana’s government.

Munyagwa’s parents were peasants working in fish factories around the shores of Lake George. He attended Mahyoro Primary School, Kitagwenda High School for ordinary lever, St Leo’s College Kyegobe where he finished Senior Six but failed and went to Nakasero Secondary School from where he repeated Senior Six. He now holds a diploma of Laws from Law Development Center and is a mature law student at Makerere University.

He recalls his first encounter with a long arm of the law when he participated in a strike at school in his Senior Six. The move condemned them to do exams coming from police cells. To save the situation, he had to escape from an examination room before the end of the final examination.

“The results weren’t pleasant and when my father learnt of it, he jammed to pay my tuition on private sponsorship at Makerere University,” he said. Apart from wanting to be soldier, he also wanted to be a pharmacist but his poor grades at Senior Six ensured he couldn’t be admitted to the course at university.

In 2001, he enrolled at Makerere University for a Bachelor of Science degree but failed to meet his tuition. He instead switched the programme to an online study arrangement. Later, he embarked on a degree in commerce but still dropped out in third year due to financial constraints.

Everything was falling apart for Munyagwa until the big parade mounted for former Kampala mayor Hajji Nasser Ntege Ssebaggala when he returned from USA prison to Uganda. Then, Munyagwa was a deluded, hopeless young man in the ghettos of Kawempe.

When he got wind of Ssebagala’s return, he joined one of the groups organizing his welcome from the airport.

It is Ssebaggala who inspired Munyagwa to be a politician. Then, Ssebagala was talking of standing for President, and he saw a chance to be someone in Ssebagala’s government.

“At that time, school was not on my agenda because I never thought that academic documents would be of any help”, Munyagwa told Uganda Radio Network.

As luck would have it, Ssebaggala’s presidential ambitions went off the rails and his disciples including Munyagwa had to look for something else to do. That is when he saw a window to stand as Kawempe Division mayor in 2011 where he was a one term mayor. He jumped into the MP contest and won. The rest is history.

And today he is the chairperson of Cosase.

 SOURCE: Watchdog Uganda

We Must Take Action To Fight Air Pollution

By Samuel Okulony

On 5th of June every year, Uganda joins the rest of the world to celebrate World Environment Day which is one of the principles under the United Nation to create awareness and action for environmental conservation.

 This year, the celebrations have been organized under the theme “Beat Air pollution” which has become one of the biggest threats of our time to the environment and human health.

 Air pollution, refers to the release of harmful and excessive substances such as gases, particles, and biological molecules into the atmosphere that are dangerous to both human health and the environment.

 According to World Health Organization (WHO) 2016, air pollution levels have remained dangerously high in many parts of the world with 9 out of every 10 people breathing air containing high levels of pollutants and is responsible for an estimated 7 million death every year around the world.

 This is particularly raising the disease and death burden in both developed and developing countries and women and children are the most affected especially from indoor air pollution coming from the continued use and burning of biomass to meet household energy cooking needs releasing deadly smoke.

 To a large extent globally, energy production and use are the major causes of air pollution ranging from inefficient burning of biomass to burning of fossil fuels which releases gases and chemicals into the atmosphere which does not only increase pollution in the atmosphere, but also contributes to climate change causing global warming.

 As we reflect on the burdens caused by air pollution on environment day, it’s important to note that, air pollution does not recognize borders or territories, the pollutants released in one region can still affect the other and this requires sustained and coordinated efforts by governments to take action at all levels. This requires countries to work together on solutions to reduce air pollution ranging from adopting sustainable transport, more efficient and renewable energy production and use.

 Several cities around the world have already taken initiatives to lower their air pollution levels, for instance in March 2019, I visited City of Amsterdam, Netherlands where city transport system was dominated by use of bicycles with more bicycles parks than vehicle parks in the city while public transport was mainly electrified with timed Trums that moved around the city. This significantly improved the air quality within the city and I believe other countries can borrow a leaf.

 As Uganda joins the rest of the world to celebrating World Environment Day 2019, it is important to self-reflect on where we are and where we need to be and take action to achieve it including adopting and implementing strategies such as developing the public transport systems that could contribute to the reduction in the number of vehicles moving into the cities, channeling the environmental tax on old vehicles to be used to mitigate the impacts so as to have carbon neutral vehicles in the country and ensure that green parks are not degraded to enable air filtration.

 If we don’t act now, one day the air in our cities will be so polluted that we can not breath and oxygen bars will rise and will become an added cost to the already high cost of living and a heath burden to both the government and citizens.


Samuel Okulony

Environmental scientist 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   



Works Minister Prioritizes Victoria University Students For Logistics Internship

The Minister of State for Transport Aggrey Henry Bagiire has asked officials from his ministry to always offer internship placements to students of Victoria University undertaking logistic and transport courses whenever the need arises.

“I want to direct you that students of Victoria University that have chosen to partner with us should be given the opportunity to do internship at the ministry. That is not a question for discussion, it is coming from me,” Bagiire told Wilson Katushabe, commissioner for transport regulation and safety.

The two were presiding over the event where Victoria University in partnership with Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) to launch accredited programs in Logistics and Transport. The event took place at Kabira Country Club recently.

The minister further said the ministry was going to work with Victoria University on CILT programs and other transport related initiatives by encouraging all government MDAs to consider CILT as a vital part for growth of the country.

“We will partner with university to innovate and research; create partnership in terms of providing internship which is part of knowledge transfer and skills enhancement, share opportunities. Transport and logistics are key enablers of economic development and prosperity, the minister explained.

The minister revealed that they are developing a national transport and logistic policy, developing second national multi-sectoral master plan 2020-2040, have formulated a fifteen year master plan for logistics for the northern economic corridor 2015 – 2030 and have also established a logistics unit in the ministry to coordinate development of logistics in the country.

“We are building capacity in transport and logistics through CILT, developed skills needs assessment for the development of transport and logistics sector, have developed a framework to develop a logistics hub, amendment of some of these laws is happening establishment of one stop border posts has also happened and there is improvement of roads, water, air and railways services,” he added.

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) in the UK is the membership organization for professionals involved in the movement of goods and people and their associated supply chains. It was first established in 1919 and registered as a charity organization and part of the CILT international family with over 33,000 members in countries across the world.

Members of the Institute are involved in the management and design of infrastructure, systems, processes and information flows and in the creation, management and development of effective organisations. The work of members impacts directly on people, society and the environment, on business profitability and economic growth.

Assoc. Prof Krishna N. Sharma the Vice Chancellor of Victoria University expressed happiness to run the professional programs. “The accredited programs are designed by CILT to thoroughly equip participants with ‘street-smart’ tools and skills preparing them to effectively transition from a student mindset to a creative, problem solving and value adding young adult, ready to step into the Logistics and Transport world with enthusiasm, hope and a clear purpose,”

Geoffrey Etyang the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport –Uganda chapter said Victoria University is the 2nd university besides UMI to run these accredited programs and the first to run the Advanced Diploma in Logistics and Transport.

Modern Farming Techniques Endangering Agriculture

There is need to return to traditional farming methods in order to protect the agriculture sector because modern farming techniques are a danger to the sector, Hakim Baliraine, the chairperson of Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF Uganda), told journalists during the first National Agroecology Actors Symposium (NAAS 2019) which took place at Silver Springs Hotel in Bugolobi, Kampala.

Baliraine is convinced that new farming methods which includes use of hazardous insecticides and fertilizers are not only disadvantageous to the soil but also crops harvested contain chemicals that can cause diseases like cancer, ulcers and high blood pressure. He explained that there is need for farmers to keep land and the soil alive and able to support crop growing and offer nutritious harvests.

“We have semi illiterate farmers who can’t or don’t read labels of these insecticides and fertilizer so they apply the wrong dosage. This over dose of chemicals causes diseases. Therefore in the process of agroecology, we need to reduce or remove the use of inorganic products,” Baliraine said.

During the symposium, small scale farmers also discussed a pertinent topic regarding securing natural resources rights for small scale farmers. These rights concern access, ownership and utilization of land, water and seeds as factors of agricultural production.

It was agreed that land must be properly managed by all stakeholders in the sector and that farmers must be trained to this effect. Farmers said better policies must be put in place to protect small scale farmers’ rights that are increasing being abused at varying scales.

Some of the abuses relate to land ownership with women being the most affected. Land largely is owned by men with women only being able to use it but not own it.

Enock Kamugabi form UN Women said small scale farming is fundamentally composed of women, young and old. They also provide unpaid labour on the family farms, he said. “Women are the biggest players in small scale farming with 80 percent of the entire small scale farming being women. We cannot ignore them,” Kamugabi said.

Moses Onen from Pelum Uganda predicts that the scramble for land is going to increase as population also grows. This is can only get worse because land documentation spelling out who owns which in Uganda is poor. This makes access to land hard for some people. It also gives land grabbers opportunity to take advantage of ignorant land owners. 

21 Graduate At KISU With International Baccalaureate Diploma

Kampala International School Uganda was in celebratory mood as 21 students graduated with International Baccalaureate (IB) diplomas offered by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO).

This is the 10th IB graduation ceremony for the Ruparelia Group owned international school in Bukoto. The school director Steve Lang said IB programme is the most prestigious qualification. It is recognized by over 600 Universities the world over.

The 21 students are expected to be awarded scholarships worth $500,000 from Universities in USA, UK and Canada. “Our students have on the average performed above the world average. The world average is 29 points while KISU students have always scored an average of 31 points,” Lang said.

The student will get their certificates when International Baccalaureate Organization releases their examination results later this year.

Minister For Kampala Receives 300 Victoria University Scholarships

Victoria University Kampala today handed over 300 scholarship to Betty Kamya, the cabinet minister for Kampala. The scholarship were handed over by Rajiv Ruparelia the promoter of the University Wednesday morning.

Rajiv recently unveiled the Rajiv Ruparelia Youth Scholarships that will through Victoria University offer over 1,100 scholarships to youths joining Victoria University. He said the scholarships are aimed at uplifting the lives of underprivileged Ugandans especially the youth.

In April, Rajiv wrote a letter to the Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs announcing the scholarship. The letter revealed that the scholarship covers 70 percent of the tuition fee.

In the later Rajiv noted that minimum qualification for the degree programme is two principal passes and one principal pass for the diplomas.

The scholarships are to cater to the students who are offering the following courses; Faculty of Health Sciences (200 scholarships), Faculty of Business Management (150), Faculty of science and Technology (200), Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (250) and lastly, Department of Petroleum and Energy Studies (300).

The Rajiv Ruparelia Youth Scholarships have just completed enrolling Patrick Senyonjo aka Fresh Kid at Kampala Parents’ School under a seven year scholarship. The seven year will be facilitated until he completes primary seven.

Stylish Kingdom Kampala Towers Over City

Imagine setting up an office for your growing business inside a property that offers all the amenities that you need to have a productive day. When once you enter your office for a busy day, you don’t have to later embrace lunchtime traffic to go to the nearest restaurant, when you don’t have to worry about after work busy bustle to go shopping in the malls.

This is just what upcoming Kingdom Kampala Mall will be offering once it opens its doors to the public in May, 2019. According to Crane Management Services (a subsidiary of the Ruparelia Group), the firm managing the property, construction of the first phase of the state of art property will be complete by end of April, making it ready for tenants occupancy early May.

The building towering from where the erased Shimon Demonstration Primary School sat between Nile Avenue and Dewinton Road, before being cut off by Yusuf Lule Road, has 10 floors of office space (or 22,000m2 lettable office and retail space). It has been installed with modern sprinkler fire suppression systems, 400 CCTVs for security, 6 lifts, 3 backup 20KVA generators and a holding water tank with a capacity of 150 litres.

Kingdom Kampala, described by Mr. Rajiv Ruparelia, the Managing Director of Crane Management Services (CMS) and Ruparelia Group as a ‘mixed-use building’, once complete, will consist of a 5 star hotel, a shopping mall, another office tower, serviced apartments and a parking bay with a capacity for 2,000 cars. “I don’t think we have left out anything for this not to be called a Grade A building,” said Mr. Rajiv Ruparelia.


“This building has been tastefully designed to create unmatched shopping and working environments in line with our philosophy of satisfying the unmet need for affordable yet modern space.” Mr. Rajiv Ruparelia added revealing that on average a square metre will be going for $18 plus service fee and VAT for office space, while for retail, rent is customizable on inquiry.

The land on which Kingdom Kampala is synonymous with controversy after an Asian developer defaulted on an earlier agreed on plan with government to erect a five star hotel (Kampala Kingdom Hotel) ahead of the 2007 Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). The controversy dragged on until businessman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia came to the rescue.

Ruparelia Group, through its real estate arm, Meera Investment, in 2016, entered into a joint venture with Kingdom Hotel and Abland Africa, a South African firm, to build a modern complex which has come to be the now ready Kingdom Kampala mall.

“The fact that we are strategically located in Kampala business center; blare, car horns and sirens can get pretty disturbing. For this, we have infused our windows and doors with sound proof double glassing so you can carry on with business in your lavish office space in peace. Brace your selves for Kingdom Kampala,” Ruparelia Group recently posted on CMS social media pages.

The exclusive and outstanding luxury building is valued at over $300m financed by Ruparelia Group and partners. “We recognize the unique needs of all our clients and aim to provide the highest standard of services. We want to provide a lasting real estate solution by providing quality commercial, official, and residential apartments.” Mr. Rajiv Ruparelia told journalists last year.

Chartered Institute Of Logistics & Transport Programs At VU To Address Challenge In Sector

Victoria University has moved to address the challenges in the transport and logistic sector by launching Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport programs at the Ruparelia Group owned learning institutions.

They have partnered with The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) in the UK, a membership organization for professionals involved in the movement of goods and people and their associated supply chains.

The Minister of State for Transport Aggrey Henry Bagiire on Thursday 23rd May 2019 at Kabira Country Club presided over the launch the programs by the University. He expressed delight over Victoria University’s attempt to educate and attract individuals to the logistics and transport sector. “Lifelong learning will be a clear necessity in imparting knowledge and building skills today in the sector,” he said.

“The growth of population is presenting a challenge for those working in the logistics and transport sector and in Kampala city, the daily day time population is over 3 million people and moving such masses to destinations is a challenge and Victoria university is coming in at the time when the service is badly needed,” he added.

Assoc. Prof Krishna N. Sharma, the vice chancellor of Victoria University said they are proud to to run the professional programs under Logistics and transport and working with Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

The accredited programs are designed by CILT to thoroughly equip participants with ‘street-smart’ tools and skills preparing them to effectively transition from a student mindset to a creative, problem solving and value adding young adult, ready to step into the Logistics and Transport world with enthusiasm, hope and a clear purpose.

Geoffrey Etyang the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport –Uganda chapter said Victoria University is the 2nd university besides UMI to run these accredited programs and the first to run the Advanced Diploma in Logistics and Transport.

Why Bunyoro Needs To Focus On Development Minerals Just Like Oil And Gas

By Tusiime Priscillar and Michael Businge

Uganda’s vision 2040 is a reflection of the country’s aspirations of where it needs to be or look like in 30 years. It provides development paths and strategies to operationalize the country’s vision statement of Transformed Ugandan Society from a peasant to a Modern and prosperous country within 30years

This vision is conceptualized around strengthening the fundamentals of the national economy to harness the opportunities around the country. Uganda identified key opportunities which include oil and gas, tourism, minerals, ICT businesses, abundant labour force, geographical location and trade, water resources, industrialization and agriculture among others.

Despite vision 2040 clearly highlighting minerals as one of the key drivers to sustainable development of the country, little or no attention has been put on minerals and development minerals. Development minerals are minerals that are mined, processed and manufactured or used domestically in industries.

However much these minerals are widely used, they are not known or recognized as major minerals. These minerals include; salt, sand, clay, semi-precious stones, murram and dimension stones among others.

 Development Minerals present viable opportunities to the people of Uganda. However, their exploitation also presents serious dangers to the local people, nature and environment if not well harnessed. These can include occupational health and safety risks during the process of exploitation of these Development Minerals.

The manner in which Development Minerals are exploited is less regulated. It is predominantly by informal artisanal miners and employ rudimentary technologies, actors are either unskilled or semi- skilled. In most case, there is use children and vulnerable women as source of cheap labour and this leads to exploitation other than transformation of people.

 Development Minerals have become of focus to Bunyoro given the numerous ongoing and future developments as a result of oil and gas and fast urbanization. Road construction in the Albertine region demands murram, clay, bricks, sand especially from the lake, stone gravel all of which form the Development Minerals notion.

Other development infrastructure such as the East African Crude Oil pipeline (EACOP), the Hoima International Airport, the Refinery, industrial parks among others all call for Development Minerals as key supplies to their development.

What we need to ask ourselves is how much of these will be needed? Where can they be got from? And as part of the local content policy, we need to find out if these can be supplied locally to enhance participation in the development process.

 However, despite this ever increasing demand, there is no clear and well framed actions to exploit, use and protect, demand for restoration, preservation and meaningful benefits from these Development Minerals by the population especially the local people.

The process of development and utilization of Development Minerals has numerous challenges including death, environmental challenges like unrestored quarry sites where water can collect thus breeding places for mosquitoes hence malaria.

They also have loss of soil structure and nutrients which affects local agriculture and other social economic activities. In some areas of the region, artisanal mining has encouraged school dropout and hence encouraging child labour.

This sector has not been put on a lot of emphasis which has left children victims of circumstances. Which generation shall we have in 30 years to come?  The need to make personal income to facilitate their needs lead to overexploitation them.

This is due to the fact that Development Minerals have not been regulated and no clear legal framework governing them. All Development Minerals have other associated evils such as dust exposure, heat stress, flying rock fragments, and poor sanitation and hygiene. 

As Ugandans and people in Bunyoro, we therefore need to give focus on these minerals and other development minerals just like oil and gas development.  By doing so, we can focus on the following; 

  1. We need to ensure that there is occupational health and safety measures during the process of exploitation of Development Minerals, monitor and regulate all Development Minerals by both Central and Local Government with critical attention to local mines like,
  2. Ensure that there is sustainable and environmentally friendly Utilisation approaches by developers and communities engaged in Development Minerals.
  • Creating awareness of the relationship between Development Minerals, development and environment.
  1. Isolate Development Minerals from the wider environmental, oil and gas and mineral conversation in order to give it more meaning and sustainable utilization advocacy.
  2. Create awareness programs on how to manage Development Mineral resources without damaging the environment.
  3. Explore to Local Governments alternative sources of local revenue from the Development Minerals which can be used to enhance budget support and enhance service delivery

 About the writers;

  1. Tusiime Priscillar is a coordinator for Minerals and Development Minerals platform at Midwestern Region Anti-corruption Coalition (MIRAC)
  2. Michael Businge is a coordinator for Bunyoro Albertine Petroleum Network on Environmental conservation (BAPENECO)


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