Posts tagged as: minister

Rhino Fausta to Take Rhino Frida On a Date

By Amby Lusekelo

MAY 3 is World Press Freedom Day. Oh, happy day I thought to myself then laughed out loud. I inherited my late Dad’s sense of humour because I see the sense of humour in anything.

If all else fails, I will consider becoming a stand-up comic but that’s a story for another day.

But seriously, the words ‘press’ and ‘freedom’, being so completely dissociated in the country right now but mark my words, there will be someone, somewhere who will issue a press release commemorating the day.

The press release will give [fake] praise and all that good stuff and the press corps will be encouraged to keep doing their jobs confidently as if they were working to the Promised Land. World Press Freedom Day will be just another Wednesday in Tanzania because we have to watch it.

We really, really, have to watch it. However, do you know who does not have to watch it? Rhino Fausta. Did you know this 54-year-old rhino (yes, a wild animal) is living it up in Ngorongoro Conservation Area and costing the government 64m/- per month? That is approx. $30,000 Rhino Fausta is living it up and has nothing to worry about and absolutely does not do any watching.

This discovery was made when the minister in charge of Natural Resources and Tourism Minister admitted in parliament that the government was spending this amount per month for the wild animal. Apologies, I mean Rhino Fausta.

There was no mention of Rhino John who was also being ‘maintained’ by the government. Everybody seems to have forgotten about Rhino John but, let me watch it. Rhino Fausta did not received any memos regarding having to watch anything really. Not the amount he uses on his food allowance, not his cable TV subscriptions (home and office), not his monthly entertainment allowance and not even his wardrobe allowance.

This has got to be the only way to explain 64m/- (approx. $30,000) per month expense that the government of the united republic of Tanzania is spending on this wild animal. Gosh, I apologise again. I mean Rhino Fausta.

In an effort to understand this issue, a friend of mine decided that Rhino Fausta was actually being kept at such an expense not for research as was claimed because really, how much can you learn from a 54-year-old rhino?? But rather because he was being groomed to mate with a Rhino Frida to produce a Rhino Filip.

In a show of solidarity with the government, you know, being patriotic citizens and all, we decided that this was in fact the only reason. That the government of the united republic, is actually sponsoring the preparation for a real expensive date.

At 54 years of age, Rhino Fausta is the luckiest bachelor in Tanzania because really, as other bachelors are struggling to take their dates out in this economy, he has the government covering the bill. Meanwhile, where is Rhino John? Actually, never mind.

Twitter: @ambylusekelo Twitter: @ambylusekelo


More Pregnant Women Go to Hospital

AS the world prepares to mark the International Day of the Midwife (IDM) 2017, health officers here said more expectant… Read more »

Dodoma Land Lease Extended to 99 Years

By Sunday News Reporter

PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday directed Dodoma regional authorities to form a committee that will work on changing land occupancy duration in the region from 33 to 99 years.

The Head of State issued the directive at Dodoma Airport when he met with various regional leaders led by Regional Commissioner (RC) Jordan Rugimbana, National Assembly Speaker Job Ndugai and Minister for Works , Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa.

According to the President, the committee will comprise of members from the Regional Commissioner’s Office, the Office of the National Assembly Speaker, Ministry of Works , Transport and Communication, Dodoma Town Council Director and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Director General.

He said that Dodoma is the only region facing problems on issues related to land ownership, because its land occupancy certificates are valid for 33 years instead of 99 years, thus stalling development of the area such as investments.

“Dodoma is still facing a major problem on issues related to land ownership, certificates of all land plots which have been leased are valid for 33 years … we cannot attain our industrialisation drive or attract investors whose certificate of land occupancy is valid for 33 years,” he said.

He added that “it will be difficult for investors with a guarantee of 33 years to access loans from the banks … I think this is one of the laws which discouraged the construction of many factories in the region.”

Meanwhile, the President has also accepted the request by University of Dodoma (UDOM) to relieve it from paying land rent debt of more than 2bn/- it owes Capital Development Authority (CDA). “This university is not doing business but rather providing education to many Tanzanians, most of them from poor families .

“The country laws governing land give power to the President to oversee the resource in the country. Basing on these laws I am giving special offer to UDOM to be relieved of the debt,” he said.


More Pregnant Women Go to Hospital

AS the world prepares to mark the International Day of the Midwife (IDM) 2017, health officers here said more expectant… Read more »

South Africa: No Nuclear Energy Option – for Now At Least

analysisBy Hartmut Winkler, University of Johannesburg

A South African court has ruled that critical aspects of the country’s nuclear procurement process are illegal and unconstitutional. The outcome is a significant setback for a network of entities that had been aggressively promoting a 9.6 GW nuclear expansion programme in the face of popular opposition.

Over the past four weeks controversy over the proposed nuclear build has reached new highs. This was sparked by a major cabinet reshuffle in which President Jacob Zuma ousted both his finance and energy ministers, replacing them with individuals regarded as pro-nuclear.

The reshuffle prompted some of the largest and most diverse street protests since the dawn of the country’s democracy in 1994. While many factors contributed to the outpouring of public anger against the president, the nuclear question was a common motif in the protests.

Opposition to the nuclear expansion programme centred on two points: the first was its prohibitive costs – some estimates put it at R 1 trillion which is roughly equivalent to the government’s total annual tax revenue.

The second is that it has become contaminated by allegations of corruption, with evidence pointing to politically connected groups and individuals benefiting handsomely from it.

Back to the drawing board

The court’s ruling in effect means that the planners will have to go back to the drawing board.

The case in the Western Cape High Court was brought by two civil society organisations, Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environmental Institute (SAFCEI).

The most far reaching aspects of the judgment were that it overturned ministerial proclamations made in 2013 and 2016 that enabled the development of 9.6 GW of nuclear power. It furthermore invalidated the intergovernmental nuclear collaboration agreements South Africa had signed with Russia, the US and South Korea.

The court’s ruling on the promulgations was damning and unambiguous.

South Africa’s Electricity Regulation Act requires the Minister of Energy to promulgate any energy generating capacity expansion through the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA). The regulator is required to vet the proclamation to ensure that it is in the public interest.

The Minister of Energy issued two promulgations to establish 9.6 GW of nuclear energy generation. The first one was concluded in 2013 but only made public two years later. The second one, which delegated the nuclear procurement to the state electricity utility Eskom, whose leadership is strongly pro-nuclear, was hurriedly and stealthily implemented in 2016 on the eve of the first sitting of Western Cape High Court on the matter.

Neither of these proclamations allowed a public participation process.

The court ruled that both promulgations were illegal and unconstitutional. It found that the regulator had failed to carry out its mandate because it had endorsed the minister’s directives uncritically and hurriedly. In doing so it had not allowed public input nor had it considered the necessity of the nuclear build or the consequences of its delegation to Eskom.

The court was equally clear on the collaboration agreements. Unlike the relatively vague agreements concluded with the US and South Korea, the Russian agreement had a great deal more detail in it. It specifically committed South Africa to build nuclear power plants using Russian technology, set out a timeframe and placed specific liabilities on South Africa.

South Africa’s constitution stipulates that international agreements that will have a substantive impact on the country must be approved by parliament. The agreement with Russia clearly falls into this category and therefore needed to be submitted to parliament for debate and approval.

The judge was unequivocal that by slipping the Russian agreement through parliament as a routine matter for noting, the former Energy Minister Joemat-Petterssen had committed a gross error. In his judgment he said:

It follows that the Minister’s decision to table the agreement in terms of section 231(3) was, at the very least, irrational. At best the minister appears to have either failed to apply her mind to the requirements of sec 231(2) in relation to the contents of the Russian IGA or at worst to have deliberately bypassed its provisions for an ulterior and unlawful purpose.

This could open the door for further action against the minister as well as Zuma, who, according to the court papers, instructed her to sign the Russian agreement.

The US agreement was concluded in 1995 and the South Korean agreement in 2010. But they were only presented to parliament in 2015. The court declared them invalid in view of the inexplicable time delay.

The medium and long term impact

A judicial appeal is widely expected. But it’s unlikely that the government will succeed in overturning the essence of the judgement. And an appeals process will delay any legitimate future nuclear power procurement.

Any attempt to re-initiate a nuclear build would have to start from scratch. Based on the judgement it can safely be assumed that the regulator can only endorse nuclear expansion if it can demonstrate that it’s necessary and that it’s a better solution to any other energy option.

But given the prevalent suspicion around the nuclear expansion, the regulator will be hard pressed to show that the nuclear option is in the public interest.

It is therefore unlikely that any nuclear development will succeed in the foreseeable future.

Disclosure statement

Hartmut Winkler receives funding from the NRF. He is a member of Save South Africa and OUTA, but writes this piece in his personal capacity.

South Africa: Transport Urges Drivers, Passengers and Pedestrians to Be Vigilant and to Prioritise Road Safety

press release

Minister of Transport road safety statement on the Freedom Day long weekend leading to the Workers Day commemoration

As South Africa celebrate Freedom Day and the subsequent long weekend which commenced yesterday, the 26th April to 2nd May 2017, drivers, passengers and pedestrians are urged to be vigilant and to prioritise road safety.

“Our Law Enforcement Officers have ramped up their road safety focus on high risk driving behaviour and will be targeting the well-known contributors to serious and fatal injury crashes with our operations focusing on speeding, drink/drug driving, vehicle defects, seat belt offences and inattentive driving,” said Minister Maswanganyi.

The Minister said that on the first commemoration of the Freedom Day, President Nelson Mandela addressed Parliament and he said:

“As dawn ushered in this day, the 27th of April 1994, few of us could suppress the welling of emotion, as we were reminded of the terrible past from which we come as a nation; the great possibilities that we now have; and the bright future that beckons us. And so we assemble here today, and in other parts of the country, to mark a historic day in the life of our nation. Wherever South Africans are across the globe, our hearts beat as one, as we renew our common loyalty to our country and our commitment to its future.

“We too as the dawn usher this day, we can change our behaviour on our roads and renew our common loyalty to our country and commit to our future by being responsible on our roads, making it possible for South Africa to reduce road carnages by 50% in 2020 in line with our commitment to the UN Decade of Road Safety,” said Minister Maswanganyi.

During our Easter Road Safety campaign, we have seen alcohol, speed and the lack of restraint wearing continuing to contribute to fatalities and an escalation in serious injury crashes.

Minister Maswanganyi said that the Department of Transport and all its road entities planned awareness, public education activations as well as Law Enforcement operations for this long weekend prior to the UN Global Week on Road Safety which will be launched on the 8th May 2017 in Durban, KwaZulu Natal.

“We will be out in force on the roads this long weekend to spread the message that road safety is everyone’s responsibility and needs to be taken seriously”, emphasized Minister Maswanganyi.

Minister Maswanganyi calls upon all motorists to:

adhere to the speed limit

avoid driving under the influence of alcohol

avoid use of cell phones while driving

ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy

do not cross the road where it is not safe to do so

take regular breaks

buckle up, safety belts save lives

Some additional tips to enhance road safety.

Road Rage?

It is not worth it!

Seat Belts?

They really do save lives!

Small Children?

Install and use those “baby seats!”


A step to disaster! Please don’t.


Slow down, show respect, and live!


Pull to the right and stop!

Pedestrians Ahead?

Let them cross safety!

Holiday parties?

Your “designated driver” loves you!

Be a responsible drinker, be a responsible host and make use of public transport.

Issued by: Department of Transport

Zimbabwe: National Railways Forensic Audit Complete

By Phillimon Mhlanga

A FORENSIC audit of the struggling National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), the country’s sole railway transport operator, has been completed, the Financial Gazette’s Companies & Markets (C&M) has established.

The company’s board chairman, Larry Mavhima, revealed that the report, which covered the past five years, was handed over to his board last week.

Mavhima, however, declined to reveal details of the report, saying the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Joram Gumbo, needed to be briefed first before the document becomes public.

He said: “Yes, the independent auditors have completed their investigations. Now we want the NRZ management to respond to the findings and then we will share it with the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. The minister will then share the contents of the audit in Cabinet. That’s when we can share with you the results of the audit.”

The audit focused on three areas namely procurement, real estate and property as well as human resources and staffing.

It sought to determine any leakages in these specific areas as well as how revenue was being collected in the parastatal and to determine whether there were ghost workers on the NRZ payroll.

The company has over 5 000 workers. Over 1 000 NRZ non essential workers are expected to be retrenched to ease the burden on the ailing parastatal.

Several manufacturing companies, which had been the backbone of the NRZ’s business, have closed and shipment of coal from Hwange Colliery Company, which sustained the NRZ, has declined significantly.

The company is also in serious debt, making it impossible to turn the corner without government or external help.

The NRZ is saddled with a legacy debt of more than US$140 million, and requires about US$2 billion in the long-term to be fully transformed.

Options available for the NRZ recapitalisation include joint ventures with non State players.

At present, the NRZ is in discussions with the Development Bank of Southern Africa for a US$650 million rescue package to rehabilitate its ageing infrastructure and equipment that has surpassed the designed lifespan.

Currently, the NRZ, which provides passenger and freight services, is operating below 30 percent of installed capacity due to lack of capital and has been failing to pay salaries.

The NRZ’s goods transport business, which at its peak was raking in about 95 percent of the company’s revenue, has declined to an average of one million tonnes of cargo annually from a peak of 18 million tonnes shipped in 1998.

A number of Chinese investors are keen to partner the parastatal but no deal has been finalised due to an absence of government guarantees.

Out of the NRZ’s 166 locomotives, only 60 are functional, while only 108 passenger coaches, out of 332, are in usable condition.

It has performed poorly in recent years, and has incurred losses of over US$200 million between 2009 and 2013.

Its 2014 accounts showed that its freight unit was generating annual revenue of US$91,2 million, but incurring costs of US$103 million.

The passenger unit had annual revenues of US$3,2 million, with costs over three times more at US$10,9 million.

Its loss widened in 2015 to US$40,88 million from US$31,6 million in the prior year contributing to a cumulative loss of US$276,43 million since 2009 when the country ditched the Zimbabwe dollar due to hyperinflationary pressures.

The NRZ closed 2015 with net current liabilities of US$170,91 million, from US$131,13 million in 2014.

We Can’t Employ All Graduates – Govt Admitted

Photo: Jonathan Kalan

Graduation ceremony at a secondary school in Tanzania.

By Valentine Oforo

The government has admitted that it has no capacity to offer employment opportunities all youth who are graduating from higher learning institutions.

The admission was made on Friday morning in the Parliament by deputy minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office dealing with Labour, Youth and Employment, Mr Anthony Mavunde, during question and answers session.

He was responding a basic question from Special Seat Member of Parliament, Ms Ester Mmasi (CCM), who sought to know why the government shouldn’t ban employment for foreigners in order to employ locals, who are graduating from higher learning institutions.

The deputy minister advised graduating youth to think of self-employment as a solution instead of looking at government as source of employemnt.


Magufuli Fires 9,932 Civil Servants

President John Magufuli has instantly sacked 9,932 workers who have been found using fake certificates. Read more »

Nigeria: Abuja Airport As a Metaphor

Given the euphoria that has trailed the successful reconstruction of the runway of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, my interest as usual is purely academic, a tall order in a country in which deep reflection about nation building is a luxury. The airport which services the federal capital closed on March 8 with the promise of being reopened on April 19 after a comprehensive overhaul.

There is a general national consensus that for once in recent time we recorded “a remarkable feat”. Well before the reconstruction deadline, new run away was delivered, precisely on Monday, April 17 with resumed flights and operations by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA. Don’t get me wrong please. We must definitely salute the Hon Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, for delivering on promise and for reportedly putting his integrity on the line by vowing to resign if the airport was not reopened.

But lest we forget, this is a run way long over due for a repair almost two decades ago. The received wisdom has it that there is no greater crime than a loss of time. If we could roll out the drums for a belated rehabilitation , it will very well be nice we are also sobered with the knowledge of the huge costs we have so far incurred for the original delay and outright criminal neglect. To dispense with some N5.8 billion earmarked for an airport rehabilitation within a month and few days, must task our cost consciousness in an economy technically in a recession. That is if at all we are cost conscious in the first place. Undoubtedly the opportunity cost of non-repair is as high. But the opportunity cost of the decades long neglect is certainly higher. Sometimes in 2010 we were debating the prospect of building the second runway at the estimated controversial N63.5 billion contract. Almost a decade later, we are celebrating a rehab of an old run way even as we keep a sealed lip on building a new one. Nigeria is often characterized as a mono- economy, relying almost on nothing but oil and gas (accounting for 94 per cent of export earnings and 62 per cent of Government revenue!). Abuja airport is another metaphor for a nation that stands on one leg, sorry, for a nation whose major international airport relies on only (and only one!) rehabilitated run way.

For me the bigger picture of delay, neglect and the recent belated tokenism at a huge cost calls for sobriety rather the recent self praise that we have achieved “a feat”. With feat like this, we can as well say a farewell to ambitious nation building project. Yet Nigeria must learn to be ambitious as a nation. So far with all the official noise, the comprehensive repair of the Abuja terminal is yet to be completed. While we all micro manage Abuja airport, (sorry rehabilitating a runway!) we should not forget that Nigeria parades as many as 26 airports in the country operated by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). Five of these are called “international airports” namely that of Kaduna, Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Enugu. On arrival at the Murtala international airport, every passenger is ever psychologically prepared that the elevator will ever not function.

While the repair was on, President Buhari launched with fanfare , the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan Job creation and youth empowerment. One cardinal principle of this new commendable road plan for growth and development is to promote public finance aimed at reducing unemployment and under-employment, especially among the youths. Pray how many sustainable jobs are the fall outs of N5.8 billion Abuja airport repairs/ intervention? The ERGP also sets to promote local content. What then is the local content of N5.8 billion Abuja airport repairs? We even ignored the “local content” suggestion by critical stakeholders, in the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), who argued that the rehabilitation could take place with the airport in use. Are we using public intervention in infrastructure development to empower Nigerians and move the economy from recession to recovery or doing business as usual patronizing foreign investors and fueling capital flight and perpetuating underdevelopment? Still on ERGP . This wonderful document is almost romantic about “..placing emphasis on Made-in-Nigeria” as part of the “.. diversification of the economy”. It is therefore mind boggling seeing almost all Nigerians, federal government and the media alike doing generous promotion of Ethiopian Airlines, “the only foreign airline that accepted to use the alternative Kaduna airport during the rehabilitation” having being the first aircraft to have landed at the reopened airport. Haba! Again lest we forget, our national anthem opens with the clarion call “Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey, To serve our fatherland” NOT another country certainly not Ethiopia. Again don’t get me wrong. Ethiopia airlines in a gloablized world is commendably doing very well to corner the huge market share of Nigeria which scandalously kills its own national carrier. But even at that for as long as Abuja repair lasted Ethiopia airlines was not doing charity work but smart business making good money on routes abandoned by other international airlines. Why on earth should we rise in unison with cheap advert for a foreign airline having fun at our idiocy and gross underdevelopment? . Nigeria and Nigerians must certainly return to basics in patriotism and nation building. We sign on to open sky policy without reciprocal flights to any of the countries that have colonized our routes. That is bad enough. But it is a national shame and indeed national disgrace that we now inadvertently promote foreign airlines at the expense of our own.

Many Nigerian compatriots certainly feel diminished that a foreign airline was indulged to land on a runway Nigerians paid for and the first pilot to be so favored to speak to us is nor from Nigeria. Sir Nnamdi Azikiwe who the airport is deservedly named after must be wondering in his grave; what has happened to the promise of independence him and his compatriots fought for.


Economy Would Be Out of Recession By Second Quarter – Central Bank

The Central Bank of Nigeria has restated that the Nigerian economy would come out of the recession in the second quarter… Read more »

South Africa: KZN Driver Caught With 20-Ton Overweight Truck, Arrested

A KwaZulu-Natal truck driver has been arrested after his vehicle was found to be 20 tons overweight, the Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) said on Friday.

A Zimbabwean national driving a Jaisher Logistics truck transporting “small brown stones” in a shipping container was stopped near KwaDukuza on Freedom Day, RTI spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu said.

He could not produce documents describing the cargo and its use. The truck had the capacity to carry a gross load of 56 000kg, but weighed 72 280kg, a full 20 280kg overweight.

This posed a threat to the vehicle, the driver and other road users, and would damage the road.

“We will ensure the owner of the truck is put right in terms of law,” she said.

She warned that the RTI was keeping a vigilant eye on the roads during the long weekend.

Source: News24

South Africa

Minister Denies Financial Bailout Plans for Broadcaster

There are no plans yet for Treasury to give the ailing SABC a bailout, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said on… Read more »

Sudan: Memorandum of Understanding On Producing Biofuel in Sudan Signed

Khartoum — A memorandum of understanding was signed , Thursday, between the Higher Council for Environment and Urban Development in Khartoum State, the Africa City of Technology and the Malaysian Bionas Group during a workshop organized by the National Assembly’s Agriculture Committee.

The projects set to produce two million tons of Jatropha plant oil.

Representative of the Parliament Agriculture Committee aims to fight poverty and raise standard of living , increase capacity building for small producers at rural areas by targeting five million and 600 thousand people.

Director of Africa City of Technology, Dr Osama Al-Reis said the production of biofuel was a national project set to bridge the gap in production of electricity especially at rural areas.

The Minister at the Higher Council for Environment in Khartoum State, Maj.Gen. Omer Nimir indicated to importance of Parliament role in enactment of laws and legislations for environmental field, stressing importance of partnership to make use of Malaysian experiment in domain of production of biofuel.


Sudan to Announce National Accord Government Next Week

The Assistant of the President of Sudan, and Deputy Chairman of the National Congress Party, Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid,… Read more »

Zimbabwe: Where Is the RBZ?


LAST week, we reported that cash barons were on the prowl in the country, rescuing Zimbabwean firms with huge sums of foreign currency to pay for critical imports, but in the process reaping huge profits from the enterprise.

Apparently, the cash barons are working in cahoots with bank executives, and are clearly able to transfer the cash they earn from their deals with local companies, mainly manufacturers, miners, drugs retailers and many other importers of critical raw materials, to their offshore bank accounts.

Reports received after we broke the story last week indicate that some of the transactions involve real cash — United States dollar bank notes paid for through electronic bank transfers.

By last week, the brokers — this is what the cash barons have essentially become — had facilitated foreign payments amounting to US$30 million. This gives a profit of US$4,5 million, if a facilitation fee of 15 percent is charged. This is a very good profit, but it translates into an additional cost for local producers, who will have to factor this in their pricing.

The effect is that prices, which are already on a northward trajectory, will increase the upward momentum. Already, the International Monetary Fund has projected that Zimbabwe, which was grappling with a deflationary environment since dollarisation in 2009, may see its inflation hitting six percent this year.

There are real fears that we may go back to a hyper-inflationary crisis of 2008, which forced government to abandon the Zimbabwe dollar and adopt a multiple currency regime that brought significant stability into the economy.

That stability was ruined by massive money printing, through the real time gross settlement system, after the collapse of the inclusive government in 2013, leading to shortages of US dollar bank notes and subsequently the introduction of bond notes by the central bank in November last year.

As some commentators pointed out, there is a real possibility that the banks are facilitating money laundering through transfer of cash offshore by the cash barons. They may be helping Zimbabwe’s productive sectors and the wider business community to stay in business, but there is a question that still needs to be asked: How does this happen under the watch of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe? What is the interest of bankers in facilitating offshore transfers for these cash barons when they tell the business community that there is no hard currency for critical commitments to keep our companies operating?

Our article last week indicated that the brokers are fronting political bigwigs and top bankers. This explains why they are able to siphon cash outside Zimbabwe using the same banking system that is failing to support the productive sectors of our economy.

The central bank should investigate this issue and come up with a resolution to our worsening economic situation, otherwise we should anticipate an unprecedented implosion that will significantly disrupt all economic activities in the country.


Minister Kasukuwere Suspends Entire Town Council

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has suspended Chitungwiza Mayor Phillip… Read more »

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