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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Wednesday 05th of May 2021

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The US recovery is weak especially given the size of the stimulus. @dlacalle_IA
World Of Finance


The Consensus View appears to be that the Global economy is going to accelerate big time and that its going to BOOM! I beg to differ 


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Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 2 Vanity[a] of vanities, says the Preacher

Vanity[a] of vanities, says the Preacher,

vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

A generation goes, and a generation comes,

but the earth remains forever.

The sun rises, and the sun goes down,

and hastens[b] to the place where it rises.

What has been is what will be,

and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there a thing of which it is said,

“See, this is new”?

It has been already

in the ages before us.

There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance

of later things[d] yet to be

among those who come after.

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The Swing by Kabir Songs of #Kabir

Between the Poles of the Conscious and the Unconscious

there has the Mind made a Swing. Thereon hang all

Beings and all worlds, and that Swing never ceases it's Sway

Millions of Beings are there The Sun and the Moon in their

courses are there Millions of ages pass And The Swing

goes on. All Swing! The Sky and the Earth and the Air and the Water

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“Unity is iron and steel; unity is a source of strength,”
Law & Politics

“Complete reunification of the motherland is an inevitable trend..no one and no force can ever stop it!” 

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Why is the universe so uncannily, so eerily, so terribly quiet? Because in the dark forest, anything that makes a sound gets eaten.

The alien researcher on the other side of the communication warns her that its society is utterly twisted and that she must never make contact again, lest they invade Earth:

Do not answer!

Do not answer!!

Do not answer!!!

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"The Dark Forest," which continues the story of the invasion of Earth by the ruthless and technologically superior Trisolarans, introduces Liu’s three axioms of “cosmic sociology.” @nfergus

First, “Survival is the primary need of civilization.” 

Second, “Civilization continuously grows and expands, but the total matter in the universe remains constant.” 

Third, “chains of suspicion” and the risk of a “technological explosion” in another civilization mean that in space there can only be the law of the jungle. 

In the words of the book’s hero, Luo Ji:

The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost ... trying to tread without sound ... 

The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. 

If he finds other life — another hunter, an angel or a demon, a delicate infant or a tottering old man, a fairy or a demigod — 

there’s only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them. In this forest, hell is other people ... any life that exposes its own existence will be swiftly wiped out.

This is intergalactic Darwinism.

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28-MAR-2021 :: We are once again entering an exponential escape velocity Phase #COVID19

The Virus remains an exogenous uncertainty that is still not resolved though all the virologists who have metastasized into vaccinologists will have you believe its all sunlit uplands from here. 

Glorious sunrise at the Borana conservancy @nickdimbleby @JamboMagazine

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Mathematical models project a peak of 800,000 daily new infections over the coming weeks, double the current levels.
Minerals, Oil & Energy

Having crossed the threshold of 300,000 daily cases on 21 April, India is already recording more new infections every day than any other country since the pandemic began. 

There may be thousands more unrecorded because testing has plateaued around 1.8-2 million from 1.1 million in early April. 

Experts said India may be undercounting of cases by a factor of between 5 and 20.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent global health research centre at the University of Washington, estimated that the peak of new daily infections, including those not tested, occurred on 23 April, at more than 14 million cases. 

Daily deaths, considered the best indicator of the progression of the pandemic, are projected as crossing 13,000 on 15 May—the IHME estimated the lag between infection and death to be 17 to 21 days.

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How two young math geeks solved the mystery of Mexico City’s covid-19 dead @washingtonpost

Thus began a cat-and-mouse game with the government that would last nearly a year and catapult the pair to national prominence. 

Just days after their conversation, they’d conclude that around 8,000 more people had died in Mexico’s capital in the first five months of 2020 compared to prior years. 

By February 2021, they’d count 83,235 excess deaths — more than twice the government’s confirmed covid-19 fatality total.

Around the world, citizen sleuths have been scrambling to discover the pandemic’s true toll. 

As fatalities have soared, they’ve upstaged governments that have been slow or unwilling to report the scale of the tragedy.

In Iran, journalists at the BBC’s Persian service ferreted out data last summer showing coronavirus deaths were nearly three times the publicly released number. 

In Nicaragua, a civic group counted more than 3,000 fatalities with covid-19 symptoms. The official tally was 179.

Even developed democratic countries have struggled to keep pace with covid-19 fatalities. The challenges range from a lack of testing to incorrect diagnoses to slow-moving death registry systems. 

To get the best sense of the pandemic’s toll, scientists are turning to excess mortality, the difference in overall fatalities compared to prior years. 

It includes people killed by covid-19 and indirect victims — for example, patients unable to get treatment for other problems at overwhelmed hospitals.

In Mexico, calculating the fatalities has been particularly fraught. The pandemic response has been led by highly trained scientists, including Mexico City’s leftist mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, who has a PhD in energy engineering. 

They’ve produced detailed mortality reports, but released them well after the fact, while announcing far-lower daily totals of confirmed covid-19 deaths. That’s led to suspicions the government is masking the size of the disaster.

Around the world, the covid-19 death count — flashed on TV screens, headlined in newspapers — has become a key barometer of the most profound global health crisis in a century. 

Rarely has a single figure carried such power to influence the public or to guide government policy. 

Or so thought Despeghel and Romero Zavala, a bitcoin enthusiast and tech entrepreneur, when they met in a WhatsApp chat group last May.

“What we wanted to do was say, we will find the number,” Despeghel said in an interview. “So it didn’t stay in the air.”

Their first clue came from a report by a civic group, Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity, issued last May 18. 

Its investigators revealed that there were at least 4,577 confirmed or suspected covid-19 deaths in Mexico City — three times the official count. 

Their source was a trove of leaked death certificates. To confirm the documents’ authenticity, they checked a sample against the city’s civil registry, using a feature on its website for obtaining copies of death certificates.

Sitting in her apartment the next day, Despeghel studied the group’s report. She had loved math since her childhood in France, its order and unyielding discipline, and met her Mexican husband at the London School of Economics. 

“Numbers are my thing,” she said. Now, on this Tuesday afternoon, she was examining how the anticorruption investigators had penetrated the civil registry. 

They just typed in the numbers from a death certificate, and it appeared — a bit like downloading a boarding pass with a flight confirmation number.

The problem was, “you need the info for each one” of the death certificates, Despeghel told Romero Zavala.

That didn’t stop him from playing with the site, plugging in numbers. The son of an engineer, Romero Zavala had been fascinated with the Internet since he was a boy, whiling away hot Yucatán afternoons on his family’s desktop computer. 

His first love wasn’t math but Final Fantasy VII. Sites like the civil registry page were another kind of challenge.

“I’m really intrigued,” he typed to Despeghel at 5:09 p.m.

Three minutes later, he realized something odd. The death certificates were issued in ascending order by each of the city’s 52 civil registry offices, starting from No. 1 in 2020. 

“A rookie mistake, if this was the programmer’s decision,” Romero Zavala noted. And then it hit him: 

All they had to do was identify the highest-numbered certificate in each office. Add them up, and you’d have the Mexico City death toll.

An algorithm could do the work. Romero Zavala, a graduate of Mexico’s prestigious Tec de Monterrey, wrote it quickly. 

It would act like a citizen seeking a copy of a death certificate, but bombard the system with ever-more-refined guesses about the top numbers.

Five days later, on a Sunday afternoon, Sebastián Garrido glanced at his email. He was editor of the data blog at Nexos, a Mexican magazine. 

He’d never heard of these two young data experts but was stunned by their pitch. 

Romero Zavala and Despeghel had found 8,072 excess deaths in the capital from January through May 20, while the government had confirmed only 1,832 covid-19 fatalities. 

“There was no other source of information that came close,” he said. The blog post, published on May 25, exploded on social media and rippled across the Mexican and international press.

When Romero Zavala returned to the civil registry site two days later, he was greeted with a captcha — one of those “I’m not a robot” boxes meant to block automated users. 

He and Despeghel would have to do their subsequent updates for Nexos by hand. 

By June 7, they found 17,310 excess deaths in the city. That jumped to 22,705 at the end of June. By late August, the total had soared past 31,000.

José “Pepe” Merino, 46, led Mexico City’s data agency. “Homosexual, atheist, socialist, political scientist,” declared his Twitter bio. 

He was an outspoken defender of transparency in a country still shadowed by its authoritarian past. As an academic, he’d founded the data blog at Nexos back in 2016. 

The next year, he led an audacious effort to extract information from a government database of 32,000 disappeared people. 

Then he embraced the leftist movement of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who won the presidency in 2018.

Merino was proud of his cutting-edge work. At the start of the pandemic, his agency unveiled a website listing the numbers of covid-19 cases, tests, hospitalizations — “the first database of its kind in the country,” he told a news conference. 

But figures on the city’s excess mortality lagged. Officials were working on an elaborate methodology and analyzing age, gender and cause of death. 

“It’s not just like dropping information into a blog,” Merino insisted. Finally, two months after the Nexos article published, the city’s first report appeared. Its overall death figures differed by less than 2 percent from those found by Romero Zavala and Despeghel.

In August, the city posted its full database of deaths, scrubbed of IDs. 

“That’s something you normally have to wait two years” for the government to produce, Merino said in an interview.

Indeed, Mexico generally moved at a glacial pace in processing death statistics. It was hardly alone. 

“Mortality data is kind of a big black hole worldwide,” said Andrew Noymer, an epidemiologist at the University of California at Irvine who specializes in death rates from pandemics

Even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention typically took months to compile death statistics. As coronavirus cases soared, the CDC shrank that to a week.

In Mexico, the data was especially crucial. The tally of covid-19 fatalities announced each day was a vast undercount because of a dearth of testing and a large number of deaths at home. 

But by October, Romero Zavala and Despeghel stopped publishing their articles. There was no need for their time-consuming detective work, they figured. The city had promised to release weekly updates of its mortality data.

Shortly before Christmas, the pair returned to the city’s excess-mortality webpage. A record wave of infections was crashing over the city. But to their astonishment, there hadn’t been an update for nearly a month. And the civil registry had gone offline.

“Can you please explain why the site is no longer working?” Romero Zavala tweeted at Merino. 

He responded that the servers had been overwhelmed, and were being fixed. 

As for the weekly updates, city officials said processing the information turned out to be too complicated to do that fast. “We have never hidden or modified information,” Merino tweeted.

The delay was just one problem. The city’s reports had consistently painted a comparatively optimistic picture, focusing on the decline in deaths after a first coronavirus peak in May. 

Romero Zavala and Despeghel highlighted a more disturbing pattern. Unlike in New York or Madrid, deaths in Mexico City didn’t plummet after the initial pandemic spike. Instead, the numbers hit a plateau. 

The capital became stuck, churning out fatalities at least 50 percent greater than normal, week after week, their Nexos studies found.

In an academic paper issued in March, senior government scientists essentially confirmed the trend. Death rates in Mexico had remained elevated for months, compared to other countries, they wrote. 

Authorities have attributed the high mortality to the density of the capital region, widespread comorbidities such as diabetes and heart disease and the need for poor people to go out to work. 

Critics have pointed to a lack of testing and financial support to allow people to stay home.

Then, in March, two new boxes popped up on the civil registry’s page.

To get a death certificate, you now had to type in the first and last name of the deceased. Romero Zavala and Despeghel were effectively locked out. 

They had never sought the identities of the dead — just the numbers. But officials were uneasy about their access to the database. 

“Why does someone need to know the name of the person dying, the address where they lived?” Merino said. “That’s delicate information.”

After 10 months, the collaboration between Romero Zavala and Despeghel was over. For Mexico City, too, an era had ended. For the first time in nearly a year, the capital notched three days in a row with no excess deaths. 

As the city’s famed purple jacaranda trees blossomed, its exhausted residents emerged from a lockdown that had begun before Christmas.

The pandemic had calmed — for now.

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The statement that no variant has escaped disease induced immunity is likely false based on the epidemiology of outbreaks in Latin America, South Africa &c. @OYCar

The statement that no variant has escaped disease induced immunity is likely false based on the epidemiology of outbreaks in Latin America, South Africa &c. 

Indeed the onus of proof is reversed in this claim; to make it you need to show it hasn't happened, rather than it has.

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A bit concerned by scientists claiming with absolute certainty that VOCs will not evade vaccine responses & that this has never happened in 'real people'. @dgurdasani1

A bit concerned by scientists claiming with absolute certainty that VOCs will not evade vaccine responses & that this has never happened in 'real people'. 

This has happened in clinical trials & dismissing very real risks provides false reassurance & prevents pre-emptive action.

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Now for the kicker on Evidence Based Science: New variant is here, all of the existing evidence is worthless, obsolete. @yaneerbaryam

What you gonna do? Start all over again? Or make incorrect assumption of independence from the change (not evidence based!).

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Here, using data from @GISAID we see that in terms of frequencies across the US, P.1 has been undergoing more rapid logistic growth in frequency than B.1.1.7 @trvrb

Here, using data from @GISAID we see that in terms of frequencies across the US, P.1 has been undergoing more rapid logistic growth in frequency than B.1.1.7, while B.1.351 has been slower than B.1.1.7.

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08-MAR-2021 :: Exponential growth unlike any other that we have seen. Brazil is a global threat @bollemdb

The variant of concern (VOC) P.1 emerged in the Amazonas state (Brazil) and was sequenced for the first time on 6-Jan- 2021 by the Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

It contains a constellation of mutations, ten of them in the spike protein.

The P.1 variant shares mutations such as E484K, K417T, and N501Y and a deletion in the orf1b protein (del11288-11296 (3675-3677 SGF)) with other VOCs previously detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa (B.1.1.7 and the B.1.351, respectively).

Prevalence of P.1 increased sharply from 0% in November 2020 to 73% in January 2021 and in less than 2 months replaced previous lineages 

The estimated relative transmissibility of P.1 is 2.5 (95% CI: 2.3-2.8) times higher than the infection rate of the wild variant, while the reinfection probability due to the new variant is 6.4% (95% CI: 5.7 - 7.1%).

If you have a "normal" pandemic that is fading, but "variants" that [are] surging, the combined total can look like a flat, manageable situation. @spignal

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1989

Dollar Index 91.378

Japan Yen 109.36

Swiss Franc 0.9162

Pound 1.3886

Aussie 0.7717 

India Rupee 73.9555

South Korea Won 1126.515

Brazil Real 5.445

Egypt Pound 15.6750

South Africa Rand 14.4618

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United States. March exports up by 6.6% month-on-month $3.4bn of the $11.7bn increase in exports comes from increased shipments of #gold @dlacalle_IA

Watch out United States. March exports up by 6.6% month-on-month and imports up 6.3%.  $3.4bn of the $11.7bn increase in exports comes from increased shipments of #gold.

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⁦‘There are no vaccines’: Covid fears rise in Africa as inoculations stall @FT @davidpilling⁩ ⁦@AnnaSophieGross⁩

“Two months ago, India was doing a victory dance and handing out vaccines around the world like candies,” said Dr Ayoade Alakija
, co-chair of the Africa Vaccine Delivery Alliance, which is co-ordinating distribution on the continent. 

“They were saying how wonderfully they had done because of the immunity and the youth of their population. Look where India is today.”

The crisis in India, where as many as 3,000 people are dying a day, has provided proof, Alakija and others argued, of what could happen in Africa if vaccination campaigns are not rapidly accelerated and the virus is allowed to spread and mutate.

Africa and other under-vaccinated parts of the world urgently need to catch up, said Professor Trudie Lang, head of the Global Health Network at the University of Oxford. “India is a horrifying warning about the dangers of complacency,” she said.

African health officials aim to vaccinate at least 30 per cent of the 1.2bn population by the end of the year, rising to 60 per cent or higher after that. But supply constraints, logistical problems and vaccine hesitancy mean immunisation campaigns have been patchy.

In total, Africa has received just 32m doses of vaccine, of which about 18m have made it into people’s arms. 

Doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot from the multilateral Covax programme make up the bulk of jabs deployed so far, but supply has dried up after Delhi blocked exports by the Serum Institute of India to battle its own outbreak.

“There are no vaccines,” said Alakija. “It’s difficult to say there’s a problem with rollout when you don’t have anything to roll out,” she said, adding that no new supplies are expected from Covax until June.

In total, Africa has received just 32m doses of vaccine, of which about 18m have made it into people’s arms. 

Doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot from the multilateral Covax programme make up the bulk of jabs deployed so far, but supply has dried up after Delhi blocked exports by the Serum Institute of India to battle its own outbreak.

“There are no vaccines,” said Alakija. “It’s difficult to say there’s a problem with rollout when you don’t have anything to roll out,” she said, adding that no new supplies are expected from Covax until June.

Officially only about 120,000 people have died of Covid in Africa, less than 4 per cent of the global total, though that may significantly underestimate the true number.

Nkengasong at Africa CDC disagreed strongly with decisions not to use certain shots. “You don’t go to war with what you need, you go to war with what you have,” he said.

“Will the new variants be as forgiving to Africa as the first wave of variants has been?” asked OB Sisay, senior Covid adviser at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

“Right now Covax has ground to a shuddering halt,” she said. “We’re at the point where we’re rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.”

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Rapidly Spreading Variants Compound Africa’s Coronavirus Woes @business

A strain first detected in South Africa late last year is “completely dominating all infection in southern Africa and seems to be entering East Africa,” said Tulio de Oliveira, director of Krisp
, a genomics institute in the port city of Durban, which is leading a group that’s evaluating the data. 

“Another variant is completely dominating infections in Uganda and Rwanda, and is spreading through truck routes.”

Krisp is working with authorities in more than 40 African countries to collect and analyze all available data so the prevalence of the South African strain and others identified in Nigeria and in travelers from Tanzania can be assessed.

“We do risk that Africa could become a reservoir for variants,” De Oliveira said in an interview on Tuesday. 

The continent needs to control their introduction and scale up its vaccination plans, he said.

Krisp is credited with first identifying the B.1.351 strain in South Africa, as well as the variant first identified in the travelers from Tanzania. 

Two months ago, De Oliveira described that strain as the most mutated yet to be detected.

The latter strain has since been found in Uganda and the danger it poses is still being assessed, said Phionah Atuhebwe, the New Vaccines Introduction Medical Officer for Africa for the World Health Organization.

For now, it has been classified as a “variant of interest” rather than a “variant of concern,” as more research needs to be conducted, she said in an interview.

De Oliveira said the lineage of the strain found in the travelers from Tanzania derives from the original virus first found in Wuhan in China, and is similar to the variant that’s been spreading through East Africa.

“East Africa had a dormant epidemic variant that has been circulating, it has started adding some mutations that could increase transmissibility and the ability to neutralize antibodies,” he said. “It’s quite a concern.”

Two separate strains have been identified in Nigeria, one of which has spread to more than 50 other countries, the Krisp director said.

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World’s Most Vaccinated Nation Reintroduces Curbs as Cases Surge @business Prognosis

Seychelles, which has fully vaccinated more of its population against Covid-19 than any other country, has closed schools and canceled sporting activities for two weeks as infections surge.

The measures, which include bans on the intermingling of households and the early closure of bars, come even as the country has fully vaccinated more than 60% of its adult population with two doses of coronavirus vaccines

The curbs are similar to those last imposed at the end of 2020.

“Despite of all the exceptional efforts we are making, the Covid-19 situation in our country is critical right now with many daily cases reported last week,” Peggy Vidot, the nation’s health minister, said at a press conference Monday.

The Indian Ocean archipelago, which has a population of about 98,000, is dependent on tourism for much of its foreign exchange and acted quickly to begin vaccinations in January using a donation of Chinese vaccines from the United Arab Emirates. 

It has procured other vaccines since.

To date 62.2% of its eligible population is fully vaccinated, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker. That compares with 55.9% for Israel, the next most vaccinated nation.

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Tanzania's stable outlook demonstrates favourable growth prospects; however, low average income and weak fiscal strength remain the key challenges for the country's creditworthiness. @MoodysInvSvc

London, May 03, 2021 --

Tanzania's stable outlook reflects its favourable growth prospects but weak institutional strength

Slow average income growth and weak fiscal strength remain key challenges for the country's creditworthiness

A relatively large, diversified economy and current government debt burden level support Tanzania's credit profile, but its very low income levels and a weak institutional framework are exerting pressure on financial stability, says Moody's Investors Service in its annual report published today.

Despite elevated growth rates historically, Tanzania's income levels remain very low on a global scale and lower than the median for B-rated sovereigns, limiting the country's shock absorption capacity. 

Without a credible improvement in revenue generation, the government's weak fiscal strength will remain a credit constraint. 

Tanzania's vulnerability to currency volatility because of its high share of foreign-currency-denominated debt is also credit negative.

"We would consider upgrading Tanzania's rating if it is more likely that the government's revenue-mobilisation capacity was improving enough to support fiscal consolidation," says Kelvin Dalrymple, a VP-Sr Credit Officer at Moody's and the author of the report. 

"This could result from a significant improvement in both the efficiency of revenue administration as well as in the business and regulatory environment that encourages private-sector development and higher levels of foreign direct investment."

Tanzania's management of its public finances has improved, though it still suffers from low budget credibility because of persistent underperformance on revenue and expenditure plans and weak policy implementation.

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#Kenya-#Tanzania trade: Kenya has 513 investments in Tanzania worth USD1.7B employing 51,000 Tanzanians. Tanzania has 30 investments in Kenya worth KShs.19.3B employing 2,600 Kenyans. @NdunguWainaina
Kenyan Economy

#Kenya-#Tanzania trade: Kenya is fifth largest investor in Tanzania globally and first within EAC. Kenya has 513 investments in Tanzania worth USD1.7B employing 51,000 Tanzanians. Tanzania has 30 investments in Kenya worth KShs.19.3B employing 2,600 Kenyans.

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.@JubileeInsKE share price data
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment

Price: 288.75

Market Capitalization: 20,926,564,313

EPS: 50.06

PE:   5.768

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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May 2021

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