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Masoud Kipanya : From a Cartoonist to an EV Manufacturer

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Masoud Kipanya is a name synonymous with versatility and innovation in Tanzania. Born into the vibrant culture of East Africa, Kipanya has carved a niche for himself across various sectors, including media, fashion, and now, the burgeoning field of electric vehicle manufacturing. This 500-word article delves into his life, career, and the recent challenges he has encountered as he ventures into uncharted territories.

Masoud Kipanya began his career as a cartoonist, quickly gaining notoriety for his sharp wit and the ability to capture the socio-political landscape of Tanzania through his art. His cartoons, which are widely circulated in national newspapers and online platforms, have not only entertained but also provoked thought and discourse among his audience. His unique style, characterized by humor and poignant observations of everyday life, earned him accolades and a steadfast following.

However, Kipanya’s talents are not confined to the realm of cartooning. He is also a celebrated radio journalist, known for his engaging interviews and insightful commentary on current affairs. His ability to connect with listeners and bring complex issues to the fore has made his radio shows a must-listen for many Tanzanians. Through his work in radio, Kipanya has further cemented his status as a key influencer in the Tanzanian media landscape.

In addition to his contributions to media and journalism, Masoud Kipanya is the entrepreneurial mind behind Kipanya Wear, a clothing company that has gained popularity for its quality and creativity. The brand reflects Kipanya’s artistic vision, blending contemporary designs with traditional Tanzanian motifs. This venture into the fashion industry showcases his versatility and commitment to promoting Tanzanian culture on a global stage.

The latest chapter in Masoud Kipanya’s illustrious career is perhaps his most ambitious undertaking yet: venturing into electric vehicle manufacturing. Recognizing the global shift towards sustainable transportation and the potential for electric vehicles (EVs) in Tanzania, Kipanya embarked on this journey to not only contribute to environmental conservation but also to position Tanzania as a player in the global EV market. This endeavor signifies a significant pivot from his previous roles but underscores his visionary approach and willingness to tackle new challenges.

The transition to electric vehicle manufacturing has not been without its hurdles. The EV industry in Tanzania, like in many developing countries, is in its nascent stages, with challenges ranging from infrastructural readiness to consumer acceptance. Kipanya has had to navigate these waters carefully, advocating for policy support, investment in charging infrastructure, and public education on the benefits of electric vehicles. Despite these challenges, his determination to drive innovation and sustainability in Tanzania’s transportation sector remains unwavering.

Masoud Kipanya’s journey from a cartoonist to an electric vehicle manufacturer encapsulates the spirit of innovation and resilience. His ability to seamlessly transition across different industries, all the while maintaining a commitment to societal improvement, is truly remarkable. As he forges ahead with his electric vehicle venture, the challenges are many, but so are the opportunities. Kipanya’s story is a testament to the power of vision, versatility, and relentless pursuit of progress.

Photo : millardayo.com

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David Adjaye unveils his latest work, the Princeton University Museum of Art

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In late 2020 David Adjaye unveiled the face of the future Museum of Art at Princeton University in New Jersey.

David Adjaye unveils his latest work, the Princeton University Museum of Art

In late 2020 David Adjaye unveiled the face of the future Museum of Art at Princeton University in New Jersey. This is just the latest in a series of high profile buildings that the award-winning dual Ghanaian-British architect has been involved with. Sir David Adjaye, OBE is known for his community-driven projects, his ethos and his imaginative use of materials. The bespoke designs he has shown the world have marked him apart as one of the leading architects of the generation. From private houses to exhibitions and temporary pavilions all the way to major arts centers, is there anything he can’t do?

Early Years of Impermanence on the Continent

Adjaye’s early life was one of frequent moves. Born in Tanzania to a Ghanaian diplomat, he lived in Egypt, Yemen and Lebanon all before the age of nine when he moved to Britain. He was able to see much of the continent, visiting places such as Kampala, Nairobi, Accra and Jeddah by joining his father’s travels. This history of travel would later be showcased in Adjaye’s project, ‘African Architecture: A Photographic Survey of Metropolitan Architecture’ that documented the urban history of fifty four major African cities.

Adjaye states that a formative moment in his childhood was when he realized the difficulties his partially paralyzed brother had to face when going to school. Adjaye noted that the run-down and degrading facility was very inefficient and during his university education he began to think about design solutions that would provide better care for those with less mobility. He describes this as the moment he understood how architecture melds with egalitarianism.

From Houses to Exhibitions, Adjaye’s Career is certainly not boring

Adjaye graduated in 1993 from the Royal College of Art in London, and in the same year won his first bronze medal award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). His early works included residential projects, such as the house of his future-best man, Chris Ofili. He also designed Lorna Simpson’s studio-home, and the Dirty House studio. Adjaye’s architecture firm would have its first solo exhibition in 2006 at the Whitechapel Gallery called ‘David Adjaye: Making Public Buildings.’

Things picked up quickly for Adjaye when he was selected to design the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver that opened in 2007. It was his first museum commission, and was designed in such a way as to minimize the boundaries between the exterior spaces of the city and the interior galleries of the museum. Adjaye was later selected as lead architect for the design of the $540 million National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. When the museum opened in 2016 it was named the cultural event of the year by the New York Times, and Adjaye’s signature touches included a crown motif from the West African Yoruba Kingdom.

His grandest work yet, the upcoming Princeton Museum of Art

In 2018 David Adjaye won the competition to create the new art museum in the heart of the Princeton University campus and he has just revealed new images of how the building will look. As a former guest professor at the university, Adjaye knows the institution well and his proposal is nothing if not ambitious.

The museum will be open to all and inclusive. Materials such as stone, bronze and glass will intertwine and the project will double the area offered by the original museum. The upcoming space has been described as a campus within the campus. It will have three levels with seven interlocking pavilions connected with intimate spaces. Spread across this impressive area will be nearly 110,000 works of art, with pieces dating back to antiquity standing alongside more recent works. Estimated to be completed in 2024, the building will be one of David Adjaye’s most important personal achievements, along with being one of the most important university museums in the world.

Sources: africatopsuccess.com – stirworld.com

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Tanzania restores power in parts of country after nationwide outage

Comments (0) Actualites, Africa

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania’s power utility said on Friday it had started to restore electricity to parts of the country after the East African nation was hit by a country-wide blackout on Thursday morning.

“Efforts are ongoing to make sure that power supply is restored to all parts of the country,” the state-run Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) said in a statement.

TANESCO apologised for the power outage, but did not explain what caused a “technical glitch” in the national power grid that left the region’s No. 3 economy in a blackout that lasted more than 12 hours on Thursday.

Power was restored in many parts of commercial capital Dar es Salaam late on Thursday.

TANESCO said it had also restored electricity in the administrative capital Dodoma, as well as Iringa region in the centre and Tanga in the north east.

Partial blackouts occur regularly in Tanzania, which relies on hydro, natural gas and heavy fuel oil to generate electricity. Many businesses use power generators as backups, pushing up their operating costs.

Tanzania’s energy infrastructure has suffered from decades of underinvestment, neglect and corruption allegations, and investors have long complained the lack of reliable power hurts business there.

President John Magufuli is pushing a major hydropower project at Stiegler’s Gorge in the UNESCO-designated Selous Game Reserve to help tackle chronic electricity shortages.

The project would more than double the country’s current power generation capacity of around 1,500 megawatts (MW). The government has not said how much the project would cost or how it would raise financing, but wants it completed within three years.

Tanzania aims to boost power generation capacity to 10,000 MW over the next decade by also using some of its vast natural gas and coal reserves.


(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by George Obulutsa and Mark Potter)


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Tanzania extends its e-tax system to cut fraud

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John Magufuli

Tanzania’s president, John Magufuli, has extended the e-tax system to all government bodies as he bids to slash fraud.

Tanzania’s president, John Magufuli, has been in office for less than a year, but he is already making a name for himself as a staunch opponent of fraud and corruption. Magufuli has attacked tax evasion and corruption, in a bid to ensure that the government no longer loses billions of dollars in unpaid funds. One of the most significant measures taken in this battle with tax evasion has been the announcement that the nation’s e-tax system will now apply to all government departments and bodies.

The e-tax system

It was 6 years ago that Tanzania first introduced its e-tax system, but it has taken until now for the system to be applied to government positions and departments.

The e-tax system involved the distribution of Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to Tanzanian businesses. The EFD is an advanced version of a traditional cash register that records all transactions, and provides the TRA with an easily processed record of the tax owed.

Prior to this point, businesses recorded sales in hand written books, which not only allowed much easier deceit, but ensured that the TRA’s job was far more difficult. Director of Education and Taxpayer Services Richard Kayombo said that businesses would claim to have sold less, and that the old system was practically “worthless” in terms of stopping tax fraud.

In contrast, EFDs are compatible with the TRA’s own Electronic Fiscal Device Management (EFDM), which provides the government with real-time sales information. Kayombo said, “The system enables us to get information directly from a trader when they make business transactions.”

An Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD)

An Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD)

While the system was initially rolled out to large scale traders in 2010, a second drive in 2013 saw it become compulsory for mid-sized traders too. However, it has taken President Magufuli until now to extend this measure to governmental departments and bodies too.

Magufuli not only feels that it will be a huge financial boon for government coffers, but that it is also a matter of principle. Magufuli explained, “We forced entrepreneurs to capitalize on the electronics tax collection while we, in government, have not resorted to the same thing, which is a total contradiction.”

The increased reach of Tanzania’s e-tax system ensures that the government cannot be accused of hypocrisy in regards to its stance on corruption, and it also means that taxation revenue is expected to exceed the government’s original target for the financial year. The commissioner general of the TRA, Alphayo Kidata, predicted that takings would surpass “the collection target of 15.5 trillion Tanzanian shillings during the 2016/2017 fiscal year.”

This is a figure akin to more than $7 billion.

Looking to reap the rewards

In the first 2 months of Magufuli’s crackdown on taxes last year, the TRA collected around $700 million in taxes. However, while some of this was achieved by targeting corrupt officials and business owners, the true impact of the president’s policy will not be seen until the end of the financial year.

The rollout of e-taxes to all government bodies was announced only last month, after Magufuli met with the Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, who has successfully implemented a similar system in his nation. Rwanda has offered to send IT experts to assist Mr. Magufuli’s government in the implementation of the technology, and the announcement was greeted with widespread approval by Tanzanian commentators and experts. If the move is as successful as hoped, Magufuli’s government will be in a strong position to build the economy and social infrastructure.

In 2014, tax collections covered 75% of government expenditure, but universal e-taxation could make a dramatic difference to this. Mr Kayombo confirmed that in the first year of commercial businesses using EFDs, tax revenue rose by 23%, and by 27% in the second year. A similar success within government institutions would provide Tanzania with a huge influx of revenue.

Professor George Shumbusho, Senior Lecturer at Mzumbe University, felt that it was an excellent move from the government, and one that could have a massive impact, exclaiming, “This is a commendable decision given the fact that the country has been losing a lot of money to unscrupulous public officials…With this system, the government may be able to fund its budgets by 100 per cent.”

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Tanzanian entrepreneur aims to light up his country with green energy

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sunsweet solar

George Mtemahanji’s Tanzanian startup, Sunsweet Solar, looks to bring clean energy to its nation’s poorest people.

For 70% of Tanzanians, the only way to light up their homes after sundown is with a small kerosene-powered lamp. This shortage of electricity does not only affect people in their homes, but businesses and schools too. It was something that 22 year old George Mtemahanji understood well, as he had grown up in the small, rural town of Ifakara where kerosene was the only option for light after dusk.

Mtemahanji left his home in 2003 at only 9 years of age, as his mother took him to Italy in search of new opportunities. However, 8 years later he returned home, and upon seeing that the same energy problems still afflicted his hometown, he decided to find a solution.

The spark that can change lives

Mtemahanji was not only struck by how little things had changed in his place of birth, but also by how significant a lack of electricity was to the prospects for development. Mtemahanji explained, “Electricity supply is really important for the development of a country. Without electricity, New York or Johannesburg would just be villages – they’d be like Ifakara.”

At the time of his return, Mtemahanji was studying to be a technician in renewable energy, and the power situation within his home town immediately struck him as a problem that his training could help to solve. Mtemahanji said, “We have a lot of sun and it was really very strange that no one was doing something with solar energy.” The inspiration for Sunsweet Solar had been created, so Mtemahanji returned to Italy to discuss his ideas with a fellow student, Manuel Rolando.

By 2013, extensive research into solar energy in Tanzania had revealed that many locals simply did not trust solar energy as a reliable source due to poor quality installations that had proved inconsistent. However, Mtemahanji was confident that Rolando and he were capable of designing efficient, cost effective solar powered systems. The duo began approaching companies for funding, and found a Swiss company planning to build a photovoltaic plant (solar power plant) right in Mtemhanji’s hometown of Ifakara. The two young entrepreneurs offered to design and construct all the technical components of the plant for free, and their pitch was accepted.

Sunsweet Solar rises in the east

Mtemahanji’s voluntary work on the Swiss photovoltaic plant was a huge success; the plant is the largest of its kind in the Kilombero district, and it powers 200 lights, dozens of computers and can store 3 days’ worth of power. Moreover, it now proved to any other investor that Mtemahanji and Rolando had the requisite skills to complete their grand plans.

Mtemahanji was committed to ensuring that his home in East Africa would begin to finally see a rise in solar power, which would drive forward development, and would save money for the poorest people of his country. Sunsweet Solar was registered within days of the completed project in Ifakara, and they quickly established a partnership with a German company, Fosera, to provide household kits to rural districts.

Sunsweet Solar aims to not only build energy solutions for much of Tanzania, but to do so in a way that is cheaper than the current alternative of using kerosene lamps.

Mtemahanji discussed the 70% of the country that have no reliable electricity, remarking, “We can give them electricity for 25 years for only $79… It costs less than $0.30 per month; today a liter of kerosene costs $1.10. That means the people in rural areas spent 73% more with kerosene per month than with our solar system.”

Access to electricity can bring greater productivity in the workplace, and the ability to improve education. Since Sunsweet Solar installed solar power to Benignis Girls Secondary School, the school has seen exam performances increase from 18% to 83% in just 1 year. Something as simple as being able to study during the evening is a part of life that many people will have never had to consider.

In 2015, George Mtemahanji won the Anzisha Price, an award for young African entrepreneurs, and despite his success he is still only 22 years of age. With plans to roll out a loan system, so that customers can buy installations in installments, the future for both his company and Tanzania looks increasingly bright.

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Tanzania sees economic growth picking up to 7.4% in 2017

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania’s central bank said on Tuesday it expects economic growth to accelerate to 7.4 percent in 2017 from an estimated 7.2 percent this year, driven by construction, communications and finance.

The Tanzanian economy, East Africa’s second-biggest, grew 7 percent last year.

“The macroeconomic objectives of the government aim at achieving a real gross domestic product growth of 7.3 percent in 2016/17 based on the projected growth of 7.2 percent in 2016 and 7.4 percent in 2017, while maintaining inflation at single digits,” the Bank of Tanzania said in its latest monetary policy statement.

“The bank will continue pursuing prudent monetary policy in 2016/17 to keep inflation close to the medium-term target of 5 percent, while ensuring that the liquidity level is consistent with demands of various economic activities.”

Tanzania’s year-on-year headline inflation rate edged up to 5.2 percent in May from 5.1 percent in April, as prices rose for non-food items.

The government said it plans to increase spending by 31 percent in its 2016/17 fiscal year to $13.51 billion to finance infrastructure and industrial projects.


(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by George Obulutsa, Larry King)

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Tanzania’s energy regulator raises retail fuel prices, citing costly crude

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania’s energy regulator raised maximum retail prices on fuel on Friday, citing higher international crude oil and refined product prices, a move expected to exert upward pressure on inflation.

Fuel prices have a big effect on the inflation rate in the east African country, which slowed to 5.1 percent year-on-year in April from 5.4 percent the previous month.

The Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) raised the retail price of petrol by 4.49 percent and the price of diesel by 1.95 percent.

Maximum kerosene prices were raised 1.84 percent in the latest monthly price caps, which take immediate effect.

“To a large extent, increases in wholesale and retail local petroleum products prices have been caused by the continued increase of petroleum products prices in the world market,” EWURA said.

The regulator increased the price of petrol in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam by 80 shillings ($0.0366) a litre to 1,865 shillings, and the price of diesel in the capital by 31 shillings to 1,633 shillings.

Kerosene prices in the commercial capital rose 29 shillings to 1,607 shillings per litre.


($1 = 2,187.0000 Tanzanian shillings)


(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; editing by Elias Biryabarema and Adrian Croft)

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African Development Bank approves $1.1 billion in loans to Tanzania

Comments (0) Africa, Latest Updates from Reuters, Politics

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a loan package worth $1.1 billion to Tanzania to be paid out over five years to fund infrastructure projects and improve public sector governance, it said.

The line of credit will be used primarily to support the transport and energy sectors and improve the business environment in east Africa’s second-biggest economy.

The loans would support “transport and energy to promote domestic and regional transport connectivity and improve access to reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity,” AfDB said in a statement late on Thursday.

“The second pillar prioritises strengthening of financial management and improving the enabling environment for private sector investment and finance for sustainable job creation.”

The government plans to spend $14.2 billion to construct a new standard gauge rail network in the next five years financed with external loans. It also plans to build a new $10 billion port at Bagamoyo, expand existing airports and invest in new roads.

Tanzania, like its neighbour Kenya, wants to profit from its long coastline and upgrade existing rickety railways and roads to serve growing economies in the land-locked heart of Africa.

Tanzania boasts economic growth of 7 percent a year, yet it is largely driven by state investment and poverty remains stubbornly high.

It also has natural gas reserves that are estimated at more than 57 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and the central bank believes 2 percentage points would be added to its annual economic growth simply by starting work on a plant to process that would draw in billions of dollars of investment.

“Board members underscored the need for Tanzanian authorities to ensure that the country’s high GDP growth delivers robust economic transformation, poverty reduction and improved livelihoods,” AfDB said.


(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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Tanzania plans to cut deficit but raise spending in 2016/17

Comments (0) Africa, Latest Updates from Reuters, Politics

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania plans to lift spending on industrial and infrastructure projects but wants to cut the budget deficit, its finance minister said in an outline of the draft budget for 2016/2017, which will be the first under the new president, John Magufuli.

Finance and Planning Minister Philip Mpango presented the figures in a document outlining budget plans for 2016/17 that was presented to parliament on Monday. The detailed draft budget will not be finalised until closer to July 1.

Growth was expected to rise to 7.2 percent in 2016 from 7.0 percent in 2015, Mpango said in his budget draft, making it one of the fastest growing economies in Africa.

The document is the first indication of spending plans under Magufuli, who was elected in October. The former public works minister promised to improve the African nation’s creaking infrastructure and create more jobs.

Under the plans, spending would rise to 22.99 trillion shillings ($10.6 billion) in 2016/17 from 22.49 trillion shillings, but the deficit would shrink to the equivalent of less than 3 percent of gross domestic product from 4.2 percent.

Mpango said the government would hike government revenue collection and find savings through some austerity measures.

Magufuli began his presidency with a series of high profile moves to slash wasteful government spending, such as scrapping official functions, and reining in corruption.

The finance minister said the government would borrow the equivalent of 1.78 trillion shillings, now worth roughly $817 million, from external commercial sources during 2016/17.

Mpango said the goal in the medium term was to hit 8 percent growth.

Financial aid and loans from development partners were expected to fall by 9.3 percent to 2.1 trillion shillings in 2016/17, Mpango’s document said.

Inflation was expected to remain in single digits and fall to 6.0 percent by June 2016 and stay between 5 and 8 percent in the medium term, the minister’s guideline document said. Year-on-year inflation edged up to 6.8 percent in December.

Spending would focus on industrial projects, new infrastructure to improve poor roads and a power shortfall, and a project to start gas exports. Tanzania says it has finalised land acquisition for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant.

BG Group, being acquired by Royal Dutch Shell, along with Statoil, Exxon Mobil and Ophir Energy plan to build the plant in partnership with the state-run Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC). They aim to start it up in the early 2020s.


($1 = 2,180.0000 Tanzanian shillings)


(By Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala. Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Dominic Evans and Raissa Kasolowsky)

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Tanzania finalises land deal for delayed LNG project

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania said on Friday it had finalised a land acquisition for the site of a planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and was now working to compensate and resettle villagers to move forward on a long-delayed project.

Tanzania’s natural gas reserves are estimated at more than 55 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and the central bank believes 2 percentage points would be added to annual economic growth of 7 percent simply by starting work on the huge plant that would draw in billions of dollars of investment.

BG Group, being acquired by Royal Dutch Shell, along with Statoil, Exxon Mobil and Ophir Energy plan to build the onshore LNG export terminal in partnership with the state-run Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC). They aim to start it up in the early 2020s.

But their final investment decision has in part been held up by delays in finalising issues related to the site.

“After securing the title deed, the law requires the owner to pay compensation to the relevant parties based on a valuation done by the chief government valuer,” TPDC said in a statement.

TPDC now owns title deed for some 2,071.705 hectares of land that have been set aside for the construction of the planned two-train LNG terminal at Likong’o village in the southern Tanzanian town of Lindi, which is located close to large offshore gas finds.

Another 17,000 hectares of land around the site for the proposed LNG terminal has been allocated for an industrial park.

The land was bought from large landowners and some individual villagers.

Tanzania’s new president, John Magufuli, has promised more urgency in decision-making, responding to a frequent complaint from businesses. One example has been delays in finalising a site for the multi-billion dollar LNG plant that will exploit huge offshore gas finds.

Oil companies were unable to gain access to the site until the land purchase, analysts say.

“The next key thing to watch is how quickly a host government agreement is executed between the Tanzanian government, TPDC and IOCs (international oil companies),” Ahmed Salim, senior associate at consultancy Teneo Intelligence, said in a note to clients.

East Africa is a new hotspot in hydrocarbon exploration after substantial deposits of crude oil were found in Uganda and major gas reserves discovered in Tanzania and Mozambique.

Mozambique’s plans to build an LNG plant have moved more swiftly. With other LNG projects moving ahead around the world, the best deals for long term gas sales contracts will likely be secured by those who come on stream first, analysts say.


(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by Drazen Jorgic and Mark Potter)

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