Thursday, 28 July 2016


The first batch of the ballot papers for the 2016 August 11 general election has arrived in the country. 

Justice Esau Chulu

The cargo plane carrying the ballots touched down at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport at about14:15 hours local time.

Tight security at the airport characterised the arrival of the vital election materials from Dubai in the United Arab Republic, (UAR) where they were printed from. 

Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Chairperson Esau Chulu who was accompanied by ECZ Commissioners, political party agents from both ruling PF and opposition, government officials, media personnel and other stakeholders witnessed the arrival of the ballot papers. 

The election materials were taken to ECZ Sylvarest warehouse at the airport for possible dispatch to the respective 156 constituencies’ country wide. 

And ECZ Chairperson Justice Esau Chulu told journalists that the distribution of ballot papers to districts and provinces commences on August 7, 2016.

Justice Chulu said the second batch of the ballot papers is expected to arrive in the country this evening around 18:30 hours.

Justice Chulu said he is happy that nine political parties participating in this year's poll were among CSOs, and other stakeholders to witness the arrival of the election materials.

He assured stakeholders of a transparent electoral process. 

Justice Chulu disclosed that he would tomorrow have a stakeholders meeting with political party agents where he will update them on the electoral process. 

Tuesday, 26 July 2016


By Sela Kasepa

On the night of 11 March, 2016 I woke up to a phone call and my dream became a reality.

Sela Kasepa
 I couldn’t believe my ears; Harvard was calling, had April fool’s day come early this year? The response was, Sela. Just in case you think you were dreaming or your parents think it was a prank, you were not and it is not.

Looking forward to welcoming you to Harvard next fall. Congratulations!

By  the way the name is Sela Kasepa, a Zambian girl from ChaChaCha, Kitwe and this is how I got  into Harvard.  

It all began in August 2015 when I received one of the most important calls of my life. Little did I know that what seemed like a mundane call from the Zambian Institute for Sustainable Development would change my life? This NGO had awarded me a scholarship which enabled me complete my high school education at Fatima Secondary School with 10 distinctions in 10 subjects. The ZISD Executive
Director, Mr. Peter Lungu was inviting me to participate in their SAT program.
The SAT is a college entrance exam used for admission into universities in the United States. Until then I was just another high school graduate with excellent grades but no funding for university; life had played a joke on me but I was not laughing. I had done my fair share of trekking from door to door, I was worn out and so were my shoes but with this call I could see light at the end of the tunnel. 
I was elated and jumped at the opportunity to return to the classroom after my two year university search had come to a stall.

The thought of attending school in America excited me, not for the glamor of the place, but for the boundless possibilities it would avail to me to pursue my dream career
Aerospace Engineering
This excitement was short-lived. ZISD’s SAT program is about one of the most rigorous courses I have taken; actually that is an understatement it was baptism by fire. This regimented training consisted of daily tests in English and Maths in a short time span.
NEVER EVER GIVE UP, was a phrase that was emphasized by Coach Jimmy Valvano in 30 for 30: Survive and Advance, a movie that the ZISD team showed

These nuclear words have stayed with me. In spite of insurmountable adversity and against improbable odds, never should you give up on your dream, passion or goal; it might take years to attain your dreams, but if you don’t give up, you can reach out, touch, and ultimately embrace your dreams. In the end, all this hard work paid off, I aced the SAT and obtained a perfect score in the subject test.
I did not intend on applying to Harvard, because I never thought I could get admitted; lucky for me, I had people who believed in me more than I did. In the words of Isaac Newton, if I have been able to see further it is by standing on the shoulder of giants.

When most people were going to New Year’s Eve parties, I was grappling with the decision on whether to apply to Harvard. At that moment, I received a call from Mr. Lungu following up on my Harvard application which prompted me to draft an application – mostly to get him out of my hair. 

My first application cycle to U.S universities was disappointing, I got waitlisted by Stanford and Gettysburg College and was admitted into Merrimack College and Michigan State University but without a scholarship to enable me attend. However, this application cycle I was admitted into Stanford, M.I.T., Michigan State University, University of California Berkeley and Harvard with all offering scholarships.

It is without saying that I chose to attend Harvard. Many a time, we are the cause of our own ruin. We belittle ourselves, and hinder our own advancement, thus setting ourselves on a path of self-destruction. My father saved me from this path through his belief in my innate capabilities, his high expectations of me, and his willingness to sacrifice his time to help me with my challenges. I owe much of my achievement to ZISD, for it gave me the best test prep, helped me with all my fees, and provided me with a family that truly cared. These factors greatly influenced my mentality, I applied to the big schools I feared, I was challenged to take on new opportunities, and I ultimately managed to attain my dream.

Let your dreams change your reality, don’t let reality change your dreams. The road to success is riddled with many potholes, but we should endure them, pick ourselves up when we fall, and we will surely march on to victory. If you really want something, the universe conspires to make it happen.
Who would have thought that a girl from ChaChaCha would beat the odds and get into Harvard? 

Monday, 25 July 2016


The first batch of pallets containing ballot papers for Zambia’s August 11, 016 general elections has been transported from Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company and handed over to the airport authorities for delivery from Dubai to Lusaka.

The batch contains 155 pallets out of which 63 are for presidential ballot papers and another 63 contain referendum ballots while 25 pallets contain presidential, referendum, national assembly, mayoral and local government posters.

Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company General Manager Lakshmanan Ganapathy said four pallets contain NRC ballot verification forms.

Mr. Ganapathy said the second and last batch of pallets will be transported from his company to the airport tomorrow.

The second batch will contain 185 pallets.

He said airport authorities will screen the pallets and allow a one day cooling process before they are loaded on two cargo planes that will leave Dubai on Thursday, July 28, 2016 and arrive in Lusaka the same day.

Earlier in the day, team Zambia in Dubai was taken round to see the seven trucks laden with pallets awaiting transportation to the airport.

Some stakeholders, the Zambia Police and Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) officials escorted the laden truck to the airport and monitored the offloading process.

On Friday last week, Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Commissioner, Emily Sikazwe, disclosed that the first cargo plane carrying pallets containing ballot papers will leave Dubai on Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 09:15 hours and arrive in Lusaka at 14:15 hours.

Dr. Sikazwe said the second plane will leave Dubai at 13:25 hours and arrive in Lusaka at 18:25 hours on the same day, of 28 July 2016.

Team Zambia has been in Dubai proofreading ballot paper templates, and monitoring the printing and packaging process of the ballot papers.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016


United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for the breaking down of barriers to treatment for uberculosis, HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
Speaking during The UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines press briefing on the sidelines of the 21st International AIDS Conference being held in Durban, South Africa, Ki-moon underscored the need for increased access to medicines, vaccines and diagnostics.
“Sixteen years ago, when the AIDS conference was last held in Durban, less than 1 percent of all people living with HIV in poorer countries had access to treatment. Millions died waiting for medicines. Today, more than 17 million people receive treatment,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “If we want to reach the universal health coverage by 2030, we have to break down barriers to treatment. And we need to develop treatments for tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases and other unmet.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines comprises of 16 eminent, well-respected individuals with a deep knowledge and understanding of the broad range of legal, trade, public health and human rights issues associated with innovation and access to medicines and health technologies.
The High-Level Panel was convened in November 2015, following the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, to address the policy incoherence between the justifiable rights of inventors, international human rights law, trade rules and public health in the context of health technologies.
 Treatment activists also requested the release of the Panel’s much anticipated recommendations. Inside the briefing, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored his commitment to the process and recounted the underlying reasons why he established the Panel to promote innovation and increase access to medicines, vaccines and diagnostics.
“At present, the world is struggling to respond effectively to challenges like antimicrobial resistance, tuberculosis, diseases of the poor and rare diseases because there is not a clear immediate return on investment,” said Ruth Dreifuss. “The Panel is looking at how to ensure that innovation is sufficiently rewarded, while also making progress towards universal health coverage by increasing access to health technologies.”

In December 2015, the Panel issued a call for contributions and subsequently received 182 submissions from the private sector government, civil society groups, multilateral organizations and academia. In March 2016, the Panel held two global dialogues – in London and Johannesburg – where participants from around the world gathered in person and online to discuss and propose solutions to the challenges of promoting innovation and access to medicines, vaccines and diagnostics.

“The history of South Africa should inspire us, and remind us that there are many ways to encourage more innovation where it is needed and make progress on the issue of access to medicines,” said Malebona Precious Matsoso, High-Level Panel Member and Director-General, Department of Health, South Africa. “I hope the report contains many routes of action that we can take immediately and build toward the future.”

The briefing follows eight months of intensive collaboration by the panel, which is comprised of members from industry, government, civil society and academia. The Panel is now finalizing its report before presenting it to the UN Secretary-General.
“We hope this report helps to develop new pathways to innovation and access to health technologies,” said Mandeep Dhaliwal, Director of Health and HIV at the United Nations Development Programme. “This Panel has an important mandate and we’re thankful to all panel members and contributors who have participated and contributed their ideas and proposals to move this issue forward.”

The Durban AIDS conference will see approximately 18,000 participants come together to mark the progress made in tackling HIV since the game changing conference held at the same venue 16 years ago. It will also look at the challenges that still need to be overcome when tackling HIV and co-infections such as tuberculosis and hepatitis limited research and development and growing drug resistance.

“Millions of people died unnecessary in South Africa and across the world because HIV and AIDS drugs weren’t available to those that needed them. In Durban sixteen years ago, treatment activists told the world know that everyone with HIV and AIDS had a right to treatment,” said Lorena Di Giano, Member of the High-Level Panel’s Expert Advisory Group and General Coordinator of the Latin American Network for Access to Medicines.“Despite progress on HIV and AIDS, we must relook at a system that doesn’t produce the innovation needed to tackle ancient diseases like tuberculosis or indeed ensure health technologies are reaching those that need them most.