Opinion: How many agents does Mzee need to combat himself?

“Mr Museveni announced his latest anti-graft plans in a Labour Day speech delivered in the rural eastern Uganda district of Namutumba yesterday afternoon. “I am using this Labour Day to tell everybody that we are going to have a big fight. I am going to set up another small unit in my office where the investors can ring directly if anybody asks them for a bribe or delays decisions,” Mr Museveni said” (Philip Wafula – ‘Museveni to set up new anti-corruption unit’ 02.05.2023, Daily Monitor).

The battle against grand corruption, graft, bribes and other siphoning of funds is getting ridiculous, as the Government of Uganda is not lacking offices or units, which are focused on the matter. It isn’t like the State House – Anti-Corruption Unit is the sole organization working with it under the Office of the Presidency.

No, there are several others like the Inspectorate of Government (IGG), Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA), Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). In addition to that you have the Judiciary and Law Enforcement itself that works or have jurisdiction to follow up on cases concerning this sort of crime. Therefore, the State has several of units or organizations combatting this already.

There are already 6 Offices that has various of roles in concern with the battle against corruption. That’s without adding the Uganda Police Force or any of their entities who also investigate corruption. The Judiciary is also handling these affairs and the ones that are judging the matters. Therefore, there is already plenty of hands involved and have the ability too combat this.

The President is only creating another busy-body and another separate Unit in his residence. It is just a nice headline and looking like his really working against it. When the other ones are enshrined in law and are based on legislation. That’s why the IGG, FIA, PPDA, OAG and others are there to work and have a mandate. Alas, the Units created out of the Office of the Presidency is just on the whim and whatever guidance the President felt at that very day. Instead of boosting the ones who exists. He creates another possible entity who will be controlled and close proximity of him.

However, this will not solve it or combat it. No, this is just another “cat and mouse” chase where they will only capture small-fish and leave the big-ones alone. There is no way the ones in association or have had a handshake with the President will be captured. No, this is just to cause some good vibes and call it a night. Peace.

Opinion: OO sounding like an opposition spokesperson…

Today, Ofwono Opondo, the Government Spokesperson published a piece called: “HARD TIMES AHEAD; DROP EXCESS POLITICAL BAGGAGE AND OPULENCE”. It is striking that he launches this triad now. This is an epic rant and would be fitting from any opposition Member of Parliament or a spokesperson of an opposition party.

OO has been a defender of the NRM and the Government of Uganda. That has been his day-job and he has done so for years now. OO is synonymous with the NRM and the Museveni era. He belongs with them and has earned his currency by doing so.

That’s why today’s text reveals something… but also show how the NRM tries to re-populist itself. Even when it goes against the grain and the current status quo. Because, this sort of opinion piece belongs in the Observer or the Daily Monitor. This doesn’t belong in the New Vision or Bukedde for that matter. Nedda ssevo, this is a piece that would fit the opposition very well. That’s why it bothers me…

First paragraph from the text says this:

“So, Uganda must reform its fiscal frameworks, exercise utmost discipline, provide more for areas that will grow the economy, expand jobs opportunities and debt management. In calling for “stepping up our domestic revenue” many think that Ggoobi, in light of the tax proposals sent to parliament is walking back his public statement of December 2022 that he will not introduce new taxes in 2023/24” (OO, 24.04.2023).

This is the sounds of an opposition spokesperson. It isn’t the voice reason of someone who is defending the track-record or the fiscal discipline of the NRM. No, this is the opposite and someone going after it’s own and begs you to question why? What reason is there and who will be the fall guy? Is that the game here?

As OO continues…

“Unfortunately Ggoobi came out a little shy on the rampant and well-spread out corruption, wastefulness, financial indiscipline and failure to adhere to set priorities. The profligacy in the face of the ongoing economic squeeze is shocking to say the least and we cannot convincingly explain the extravagant motorcades for ministers, judges, top technocrats and security officers as if Uganda was at war” (OO, 24.04.2023).

This is a system created by the NRM and the High Ranking Officials. It didn’t happen over night and neither is it by default. The NRM has found ways to eat and enjoy the perks in office. That’s why these sorts of things happen on the regular. They are all in on it and enjoys it too. It isn’t shocking anymore and that’s why “missing funds” is a proverb in the Republic.

As OO continues…

“The excessive spending on leaders is directly undermining delivery and sustenance of quality basic public services like education, health and water. Most of our leaders have continued to live opulently even when the economy has had a knock and unable to quickly recover, generate new jobs and revenue. The agricultural sector where 69 percent survive is struggling with high in-put costs yet returns remain low” (OO, 24.04.2023).

This is the nation and the vision of Museveni. He is letting the elites and the appointed officials eat. They are getting fat while the poor is starving. That’s the business model and the NRM way. Everyone has seen this for years and the donor community has shielded some of the issues. Alas, here is the bargain, that the NRM are feeling the pendulum is swinging and they are not favoured anymore. That’s why they need more domestic revenue and not donor funds to cover their expenses. This is why the hurt is more severe and the rot is spiralling out of control…

As OO continues:

“The apparent helplessness government exhibits in dealing with sloth and avarice within its ranks is regrettable and calls for a ruthless approach to stem wastefulness and abuse. These excessive security details, honking car horns and aggressively tormenting road users have become public nuisance, made Kampala look more like Afghanistan, and is counter-productive to tourism and investment attraction” (OO, 24.04.2023).

It is just funny that a NRM and Government Spokesperson wrote this. This quote and paragraph would be fitting for a FDC or a NRM MP to write. It is what the Spire Exhibitions are doing on social media. Just exposing the lack of service delivery and the lack of government oversight.

The idea that he published it and thought it was smart is beyond me. This just proves what many of us been saying over the years. Now they are trying internally to prove the faults and mistakes. It is the system that has been created in the vision of the President. He has promoted this behaviour and he given them awards for doing so.

So, please take your crocodile tears and drink some tears of the lion. Because, I am not buying it. This isn’t sincere or legit. It is making a few scapegoats and trying patch up the hurt. Maybe even drop some “deadwood” for more beloved characters surrounding Muhoozi…

So, please sound like yourself Mr. Ofwono Opondo. This isn’t you and I’m not the guy you have to convince. The message is fine, but I have trouble believing the messenger. Peace.

Opinion: Nandutu shouldn’t worry about the fire, but acknowledge her mabaati…

I have been baptized by fire but I am firm. What I am asking is, why should Agnes Nandutu be committed to the High Court when the lower court has the mandate to deal with this?” – Minister Agnes Nandutu (19.04.2023).

The State Minister of Karamoja Affairs Agnes Nandutu, has been remanded to Luzira Prison until 3/05/2023 on charges of Dealing with Suspect Property following the diversion of Iron sheets meant for the Karachunas in Karamoja Subregion” (91.2 Crooze FM, 19.04.2023).

Some people think they can do a magical trick and make things vanish. If you cannot see or touch it. It has just disappeared…. The same fashion plenty of the Ministers and MPs involved in the Mabaati or Iron Sheets Scandal are thinking. They are hoping the scandal goes out of sight and out of mind.

There have now been three ministers who has been touched, charged and spent in detention. These have been followed up and one was arrested out of hubris. When you are investigated and looked into by fellow Parliamentarians, you should just show up. Instead the Minister ended up in prison and pleading for mercy.

Alas, they were participating in a scheme. They did steal government property and did so with firm hand. All of them knew what they did, but they never thought that it would amount to anything. Heck, they just thought it was another Tuesday…

However, the President and the Authorities had another plan. The way this is moving and how the selection of Ministers are happening. It begs to question, why these? When there is like 48 more people to pick? What is so special or unique about these?

Nandutu is the third one now. All of them has been humiliated and taken into custody. They have gotten touched by the law and are facing charges. Nevertheless, I expect the state to just rinse and repeat. They are the chosen and appointed elite. These politicians will be off the hook and not be kept incommunicado or in safe-houses for months on end. Neither will they be charged in Military Courts or have unfriendly judges on their case. No, they will be shielded of the worst and only made as an example. Just to make it look they are fighting corruption….

She is just a nice flashy person to apprehend and keep in custody. Just like they did with the two previous ones. There is another minister behind bars now and a third one just released on bail. So, it makes it look like they are doing something. However, there are far more prominent ministers and high ranking officials who is implicated in this scandal. They are walking free and without any sort of legal jeopardy around their way.

That’s why you know this a “Point Blank” joke and a mockery attempt of “rule of law”. It is a show piece and a “we did this” sort of statement. This is the “dope on the table” sort of vibe. Yes, the police got the dope and could show it off. However, they never stopped the illegal transactions, the importation of drugs or the connects from getting new loads of illegal substances across the borders. Therefore, the ideals of showing of the dope is pointless. When it is only theatre for bosses and the mayors, but not doing anything to stop the illegal trade from happening.

That’s what the arrest of Nandutu seems to be for me. A pointless exercise to look like the authorities are doing something. While we know it will be “much ado about nothing”…. That’s just the way it goes and the sun will rise tomorrow again. Peace.

Opinion: Mzee says “colonial mentality” is one of the reasons for corruption…

This is not a failing system, but a growing system that could be faster if it was not for the corruption and the colonial mentality of some of the civil servants and some members of the political class. In otherwords, the progress could have been much faster and will be faster once we deal with the obstacles. Who has been responsible for the growth? Three players: the UPDF; the wealth creators (the farmers, the manufacturers, the service providers); and the infrastructure builders” (…) “That is why the whole issue goes back to the question of evidence and the need for the Public (the citizens, the farmers, the manufacturers, the artisans, the service providers), who, most of the time, are the victims of these corrupt officials and politicians, to be involved” (…) “The President is the head of the Executive and all Executive Authority is given to him or her by Article 99 (1) of the 1995 Constitution. However, he/she must exercise that power according to the Constitution and the laws of Uganda. Otherwise, that wonderful President, will become a problem himself or herself” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (11.04.2023).

The President of the Republic is a mastermind in pinning blame on others. His using all the tricks of the book. Just piling down the blame on others. It is like his Jedi Mind Trick. The force is strong with this one. He has had the years and experience in doing so. Ever since the beginning of time. Museveni has blamed others and that’s what he does now too.

His further explaining his role as the Executive and Head of State, while pointing at all other parts of government, which is ironically appointed by him and following his direct orders. The letters of the President is often mingled in and is changing the narrative. Just like the President Ordered the IGG not to look into Military Commanders and slow down the “lifestyle audit”. That just show the true power of the President and what his capable of doing.

President Museveni acts like we don’t know… we know he micro-manages and does it to his bidding. His acting like his just a “token” figurehead and not the Commander-in-Chief. We know perfectly well how he runs the Nation from the State House. It is his “enterprise” and his will is done.

The High Above” is directing and deciding matters. He can just send a “word” or a letter and things are moving. The President decides contractors and companies involved in development projects. The President orders the Office of the Prime Minister and everyone else to do his bidding. So, he can act like it is others who are too blame. However, we know the drill… and seen the actions over the years.

He can act like he cares or are concerned about “corruption”. We know he couldn’t care less and only does so to look pristine. The President knows what sorts of fruits, vegetables and other plants that grows in his garden. The President knows what sort of animals his breeding and taking care of on his farms. This man knows what is going on and cannot fool us now.

We know his pinning blame on others… when he in 2023 uses “colonial mentality” as an excuse for corruption. That is blaming the “British” and going back to the “enclave”. It just shows that his finding every way possible to pin someone else for his misgivings. This shows what his willing to do and say.

Only a fool would believe this fiction in 2023. Especially, when President Museveni is richer than God and has vast wealth. While the Republic is poor and debt-ridden. You just know the game is rigged and Museveni always comes on top. Peace.

Opinion: It was only a “mistake” to take the mabaati….

That is a political mistake that can also be subversive as you will see from my letter to the Prime Minister. That mistake, however, is totally different from converting those items to personal use. That is no longer just a mistake, but theft. Therefore, Kugonza do not worry, all those involved will be handled appropriately. Those who diverted the mabaati but not for personal use, must pay back the equivalent value in money or return the mabaati for the Karachuna, so that, that programme goes on. On many occasions, I have told leaders not to try and carry their Constituents on their heads financially (kubetikka) but show the families how to use the NRM programmes (NAADS, OWC, PDM, etc.) and make their own money. Kukulembera, si kwetikka abantu” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (11.04.2023).

A man who has claimed to fight corruption for over 4 decades are now calling it a mistake. A mistake is to forget your keys or forget to buy something on a shopping list. A mistake isn’t to divert, take or steal other people’s property. That’s what happened to the iron sheets or the mabaati. The Members of Parliament and the Ministers took government property, which was meant for government programs and supposed to be given to the ones in need in the Karamoja sub-region.

Alas, here is the issue. President Museveni needs to save face and show some action. Because inaction make him look weak. Though he cannot go to hard or too soft either. His in a position where he knows he needs the support and the cronies on his side. They are all used to and knows the drill. The system is built around looting, pillaging and finding schemes to enrich themselves of the government plate. That’s just the game that Museveni has put forward and built over the years.

The President knows very well that if he strikes to hard and goes after all the “thieves” he won’t have a functioning cabinet or party for that matter. Since there is no one who doesn’t know or doesn’t see what is happening. This is just the biggest scandal right now. However, there are plenty of other fish in the sea. It is a reason why 10 trillion shillings just vanishes in corruption every year. The iron sheets is just a manifestation of that.

That’s why he can act like this is a mistake, but this is the same man that accepts “kickbacks” from investors and was giddy to “handshakes” to people involved in Tullow Oil Tax Saga. So, we know how deep this goes. It goes skin deep and isn’t sincere. He only does it show heart, but it is meaningless. They will all be free and without a scratch in the end. Just like others before them. Ministers might been demoted and touched by the law. However, after the wind stops and normalcy returns. The same people are off the hook and re-appointed to greener pastures.

This is why I have little to no faith. The President can act like this and talk big game. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make it more true. We have seen his game and how moves. His a seasoned politician and has a set of procedures. The same will be happening here… and trust me. There might be a scapegoat or two, but they will be released and “forgiven” eventually. Since the President knows and they know the score. Peace.

Uganda: President Yoweri K. Museveni letter to Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja – Brief on the Procurement and Distrubution of Iron Sheets by the Office of the Prime Minister (03.04.2023)

Opinion: Mzee thinks we are stupid [on corruption]

“However, the corrupt elements try to infiltrate and curtail the actions of these Agencies by compromising the personnel there.  With the NRM and myself in charge, however, they are fighting a losing war.  Why?  It is because of the fact that either the anti-corruption fighters do their work or, working with the public, the President will do it for them.  How?  Using the Public Barazas and relying on whistle-blowers. Do these work? Dangerously so.  During my recent tour of Acholi, I got so much information about the wrong-doers and the State House Anti-corruption Unit is hot on everybody’s trail – that was involved in any mistakes” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 11.04.2023).

The other day the President spoke like an Opposition Leader on Corruption. Today, President Museveni is acting like the Head State. Nevertheless, his pinning the blame on others and not the system he has created. A man that has ruled the nation for 37 years now. He should know that in the end, it was all his fault.

President Museveni is now to blame for the corruption, the graft, the scandals, and the eating of state coffers. That’s all on his watch. These are people appointed and designated by him. The laws and the institutions created to combat the problem has been mandated by him. His directing them and stopping them from “investigating” too. So, this is not only partly his fault, but also what he has to offer.

Museveni cannot act like there is other to blame. When he has allowed it to feaster. His the one that has thrived on shady and “tax-holiday’s” deals for investors. The old man has enriched himself on the grand corruption. Mzee has secured tenders and other kickbacks to make life easy.

So, when Museveni speaks like this… it is hard to believe him now. He has had the years and the ability to stop this practice. However, he has lavished himself in it and his inner-circle. It isn’t believable in 2023. This is just trying to make positive headlines and hoping the scandals are forgotten about. That’s the gist of it.

Has there been corruption scandals as long as Musveni has reigned the nation. It will continue, no matter how many entities or laws he enacts. Because his in the business to eat and so are his near associates. The easiest way to eat is of the plate of others and that they do with perfection. Peace.

Opinion: Mzee is acting like an opposition leader [on corruption]

It is, therefore, a great shame that those elected by the wealth creators, betray them and become corrupt- stealing government money, taking bribes to provide service etc. The list of wealth creators has now lengthened to include: cattle-keepers, crop farmers, artisans, fishermen, manufacturers, traders, service providers, building contractors, etc” (…) “All these wealth creators are suffering because of the parasites in the form of some corrupt civil servants and politicians. However, this suffering is artificial. It is because the victims of corruption do not report. If they report, the corrupt will be crashed” – Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni (08.04.2023).

A man who has been in office and in power since 1986. That man knows the system, the administration and the whole government at large. President Museveni has envisioned and created the current bloated government. It has been imprinted and created over time. All the various ministries, permanent secretaries, presidential advisors and everyone else has by some acknowledgement been appointed or directed by the President.

That’s why it’s his leadership and his arrangements that is creating corruption. It is embedded and part of the functioning body of government. That’s why ¼ or 1/5 of the yearly budget, which is estimated around 10 trillion shillings is gone in corruption. This is paying for ghosts, “missing funds” and just wasted on huge tenders, which all amounts to little or nothing.

President Museveni knows this and his cronies are eating of the plate. He has issued “handshake” and “tax-holidays” for the ones he favours. Allowing the state running state owned enterprises that are “white elephants” and never ever earning profits. While the taxes and public expenditure is rising. That’s why the State House always needs supplementary budgets and needs to pay of more “clients”. It is a business and the business is the state.

It is just amazing that Museveni says this in 2023. When he said this in the campaign up to the election in 1980: “This type of leadership where people just amass wealth without explaining how they obtained it is tragedy for Uganda. We will get rid of it” (The Uganda Times of June 30, 1980).

He is speaking with the same vigour now, but it isn’t believable. Because, he has had over 3 decades to change it. If anyone had the short or the imperative to stop these sorts of activities. Mr. Museveni had all the reasons to do so and he would have been applauded. However, he has benefited and enriched himself. He has ensured himself massive wealth and vast estates. His family owns businesses and profits of the plights of the wannachi. Therefore, he couldn’t be too concerned about the bribes, kickbacks or other pleasantries to settle a deal.

If he had been new in the game. We might have given him a cheers and a thumbs up. The message isn’t wrong, but it is the wrong person saying it. Since he has eaten, his patronage has done the same and nothing really changes.

These words are practically meaningless. He has created government institutions combating it, enacted several laws and still there are thieving done in broad-day-light. So, the messaging is good… but the one saying it isn’t believable.

You wouldn’t let a wolf look over your hen-house, would you? Would you let a wolf look over your sheep? No, you wouldn’t, because that is dangerous and some of the animals would be slaughtered by the wolf. The same is with Museveni… his the wolf and he never stopped the practice before and will certainly not do it now. Peace.

Opinion: Half of a yearly budget wasted on corruption… and its annually [not a one of a kind grand corruption scheme]

According to a report, Uganda loses at least UGX 20 trillion annually to corruption. The Inspector-General of Government, Beti Kamya, told journalists that if at least half of that money (UGX 10 trillion) was saved per year, each parish would be able to get UGX 1 billion under the Parish Development Model” (NBS Television, 21.04.2022).

In Kampala this should haunt the institutions, the ministries and shake the whole Entebbe State House. If not both Kololo and Nakasero should be frightened by this report. That was if the rulers and the representatives was afraid of black-lash or ramifications of a report. A report that has such a vast result and damaging numbers, which could easily come to half of last years budget.

The last years budget was 44 Trillion Shillings in the budget year of 2021/22 and the estimates for 2022/23 is about 47 Trillions Shillings. With that in mind the corruption is about half of that one too. The numbers are staggering and isn’t only showing a little flex. No, the numbers are showing that it’s the norm. The corruption is a fact of life and way of living.

It doesn’t matter what authorities, bodies and mechanisms the state has… when half the budget can be siphoned, stolen or vanish without a trace. “Missing Funds” is a proverb in the vocabulary for a reason. It wouldn’t be a proverb and words of wisdom, as ghosts and fake tenders appears on a regular basis. Paying for projects only on paper and teachers who has never had a class in up-country.

Yes, there is a reason for all of this. The money is eaten and nothing to show for it. Except some spoiled brats big parties and SUVs for the ruling elite. They also can afford to rent jets to get medical treatment abroad. While hospitals are falling part, schools not having equipment and teacher being a boda-boda rider on the side. That’s all, because the state doesn’t’ have the funds or the allocated resources to finance these entities.

However, it has money for vanity projects of the President and his inner-circle. They have money for businesses, farms and whatever in need. They got money to pay-off opposition turned yellow and brighten a road for an official visit from a far-away land. Nevertheless, not enough to splash on vital institutions or government entities. That’s why UMEME is running black-outs and far to the nearest water-tap in region of your liking.

That’s why I am not shocked that the money goes missing. It is half a yearly budget wasted, gone missing and not being where it should be. Half a yearly budget eaten by corrupt bureaucrats and high ranking officials. This is done yearly and shows at what extent. It isn’t CHOGM money or GAVI funds of Muhwezi. No, this a yearly enterprise and planned efforts. Like someone is just taking the money van from the Bank of Uganda and directing to whoever it was designated without any receipts or transactional documents to show for it. The money was just taken away and “given” to whomever it was decreed to and that’s the end of it.

20 Trillion Shilling yearly or $5,662,905,997.73 US Dollars. That’s over 5 billion 662 million U.S. Dollars squandered and gone away to pay off whoever and for whatever reason. Which is not useful and is never received where it was intended to be… That’s 5 billion USD gone in the wind…

This is numbers that are staggering and outrageous. It is just really insane, but it shows what sort of government that is crippling the state and it’s for a reason there is no service delivery. The state got no money, since it is either siphoned or they are paying debts. There is little money to pay for things after that… that makes sense and is tragic. This is the nation that Museveni built. Peace.

Opinion: Museveni believes in corruption [surprise, surprise]

Be careful on lifestyle audits. We are lucky the thieves are still keeping the money here. They build Five Star Hotels. They will begin to take the money out, and we fail to trace” Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (09.12.2021).

This here statement from His Excellency and the Fountain of Honour at the official launch of the National Lifestyle Audit Campaign on the Anti-Corruption Day. I wish it was made up, but it shows his intention and what he wants out of it. It is clearly a hallow mission and a launch. When the guy ordering and directing everyone around, says this to general public.

Yes, everyone with a working mind knows there is a need for funds and investment to start a business. It costs to trade before selling. Both in inventory, furbishing a location, taxes and registration to various government entities. As well, as the basic needs of salaries and other components to make the business legit. However, the President is setting a bad precedence here. He is initially saying that they are lucky having corrupt thieves to invest in building businesses….

It is a curse to get wealth through corruption. I don’t want to give examples. God is up there watching. I can tell you he doesn’t bless people who do evil. Even the people who took slaves got problems” (Museveni, 09.11.2021).

What is funny about this… he gave an example with the 5 Star Hotel. I am sure there are several of companies built with these sorts of funds in the Republic. The President and his cronies knows this and they don’t want the IGG to look into them. I wouldn’t be shocked, if the President have directed the IGG or Auditor General to look away from certain people. Because, the State House wouldn’t accept the closest associates or family members touched by this. The President will for certain not accept all investigations or audit. That will hurt the patronage and his whole regime. Therefore, his worried that some of the big-men might be implicated or having corporations touched by it. That is just inevitable.

You are fighting for money because I have generated money for you. The NRM has generated money for you. The UPDF has created peace. That is why you have the money to steal. There is no reason we should not do things correctly. The economy would grow faster” (Museveni, 09.12.2021).

This here is really typical. The President cannot come out without the army or the guns. The ammunition and the arms are the saving grace. It shows the lack of progress and status of governing. When you have to cling on the guns and the army to be the salvation from desperation. The UPDF shouldn’t be the safeguard of the economy, but keep the Republic’s territorial integrity. This is the misuse of it and how he operates the army to fix everything in the state. We know the UPDF is participating in the economy and using it as a means to his end. Plus, the directing of decrees from the State House also is compelling in this disregard.

When the President can utter words like this. It isn’t promising for the IGG. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t expect much either. The men who was done this grand corruption before has gotten of the hook, while the small-fish has been fried in public. That’s what we have seen. The big-men with connections gets away from the law, but the civil servant thieving a coin gets years to shave behind bars.

Nobody should be above the law and everyone should be equal before it, but expecting that in the Republic in 2021. Is asking a bit but too much sadly. Peace.

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