Clifford Dimba, alias General Kanene
Clifford Dimba, alias General Kanene

UN human rights experts have criticised President Edgar Lungu for pardoning General Kanene who was convicted of the rape of a 14-year-old girl and appointing him as an ambassador in the fight against gender violence.

General Kanene whose real name is Clifford Dimba was convicted in 2014 and sentenced to 18 years in prison, but was pardoned by President Lungu after serving one year.

Since his release, the singer has been involved in two further incidents of violence against women.

“Such an outrageous release and appointment as an ambassador for the fight against gender-based violence not only traumatises the victim all over again but discourages other victims from reporting similar offences,” said Dubravka Šimonovi, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences.

“The pardon and appointment undermine the strong message against sexual abuse of women and girls that was sent with the original sentence and trivialise the serious nature of these offences,” Ms Šimonovi added.

“Rather, Clifford Dimba has been placed in a prominent position and even portrayed as a role model to fight violence against women.”

UN experts have since called on the Zambian Government to withdraw Dimba’s appointment and ensure there are no further pardons for crimes against women and girls.

“This clearly shows that impunity for these offences generates more violence and harm,” said Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

“Furthermore it constitutes an utter disrespect for women and girls in Zambia who might rightly feel that their Government is not protecting them. The pardon has meant impunity for an abhorrent crime and his subsequent appointment as ambassador for the fight against such violence is more than cynical and adds insult to injury for the victim,” she added.

The two independent experts highlighted that the granting of a pardon under such circumstances is incompatible with Zambia’s international human rights obligations and the President’s role as a champion in the UN Women’s campaign, He for She.

“For rights to have meaning, effective remedies must be available to redress violations,” said Ms. de Boer-Buquicchio.  The best interest of the child should always be considered when considering the release of an offender, the two experts stressed.

“For rights to have meaning, effective remedies must be available to redress violations,” said Ms. de Boer-Buquicchio. 

The experts urged the Zambian Government to hold accountable offenders of sexual and gender-based violence without exceptions.

Zambia, as a State Party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, should also ensure the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim, which were clearly undermined in this case.

Protection and prevention measures should also be adopted, including awareness-raising and education campaigns targeted at both men and women on the importance of gender equality and respect for women and girls.

The best interest of the child should always be considered when considering the release of an offender, the two experts stressed.

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41 COMMENTS

    • Edgar is a lost man, he doesn’t know if he is moving forward or backwards. He has no vision, is clueless. This man doesn’t know anything, a total failure in both private and public life. Do we need such for a president? Is that Zambians deserve?

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    • This is silly, does the president has good advisory team? this guy is a danger and should be thrown back in Jail.

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    • Emmanuel Mwamba screwed Edgar on Kanene that he be songwriter for PF campaign. Now he is ambassador. Ubwalwa ba president

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  1. Zambian women don’t care about this and it’s very sad. The greatest enemy to a woman is a woman and not a man. Despite all these serious reports of complaints against Lungu’s disrespect for women’s rights or girl child, we have many women still religiously supporting Lungu and not even showing any sign of anger or disappointment with the release of Kanene especially after the two other violence cases against women.

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    • What is Inonge Wina doing about it? Sh often gives lecture on women’s power and women’s right. But she is so bloody greedy, that when it comes to keeping her position in any, I mean any ministry, she will never ever talk against the President. Because she is a hypocrite of the first order and she will put anything behind her ill gotten wealth (from Wina & Wella company)

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  2. Only a cluless,brainless,visionless,drunkard president can do such a thing and with Bashi Tasila anything I possible so don’t be surprised.

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  3. The message Kanene gave on the same issue while he was in prison against the vice is incomparable even to the same experts’. Kanene used his talent well to win the King’s heart. Tell the King what he wants to hear, he will call you to dine with him. Kanene did that. Loyalty makes a dog ‘(unproductive as it ) to be a friend of man – and eats what the master eats, a privilege not given to a cow, pig, hens etc. Even you experts you are barking for powers be.

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  4. To HELL with you UN!You have a lot of these cases in the US.Concentrate on that and countries like INDIA,SAUDI ARABIA,SYRIA.

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    • That particular branch of UN that deals with such things is already there. This branch deals with Violence against women. Grow a brain please.

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    • Soko, who in the US abused women’s dignity as Chi Dimba yet was appointed ‘US ambassador for women’s rights?’

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    • Ya, but they don’t pardon offenders and thats difference between us and them…..shame African presidos

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  5. UN has reduced itself below the expected standard, for sure the world is falling apart. ladies and girls are undressing themselves what do you expect from Dimba? some men even rape ladies in their mind it is only that they don’t have a chance, if they had you could see Dimba can be even better than them. ladies please put on cloths!!!!

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  6. Release of Kanene is surely an insult to women’s rights and diginity. Zambian men stop viewing women as properties or material things, instead start treating women as level headed people and partners in development. Kanene’s case in other countries would be a very serious case that would require him serve atleast maximum sentence of 25 years without parole and would require him register as sexual offender for the rest of his life. This case am sure is a now case study of how rule of law is less respected in Zambia and how presidential powers abuse the constitution and the people its supposed to protect.

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  7. The many voices of Zambians who were against the release of the singer have been vindicated. So even after the violence, this man is still an ambassador? What an ambassador!

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  8. you guys that woman had a child before kanene slept with her it is only the useless lawyer who misrepresented him,and if anything the person they are suppose to take to court is the person who impregnanted her and the parents to the woman are suppose to be arrested for Concealing evidence, how can you defile a mother,so strange.

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  9. The president did a good thing. Kanene has just betrayed himself. We need the spirit of forgiveness but not to fall in the same pity. Jesus forgave an adulterous woman and told her not to sin again.
    Some of the crimes committed even by UN are so aweful. Its a pity that not all crimes committed by women are not reported. There is no perfect person.
    Even future presidents please similar gestures to sinners as long as there is no political expediency.

    Merry Chrismas

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    • This man raped women and girls – that is not the same as adultery. There is no sexual consent in adultery. Even Jesus said, “go and sin no more” yet this man keeps committing the same CRIME- you speak of Jesus as if He has no desire for Justice.

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  10. It is tragic that a man like Kanene Dan be appointed as ambassador in the fight against gender violence. Firstly it shows that there is no regard for women and girls. Secondly, despite the government’s denouncements against gender based violence, it is not committed and is being hypocritical.
    I agree with the blogger who said that a woman’s worst enemy is a woman. Can the First Lady take this up with the President? She can convince him if he will not listen to others. It is her fight too.

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  11. That’s UN for the come when everyone has been chopped to pieces like in Rwanda…maybe they were debating about this over tea and biscuits about our utterly dull lazy Lungu!!

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  12. ok he is out of prison what next we take him back to prison?appeal in you own capacity ukucila ukubwasa without any dividends,so foolish

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  13. The more reason our leaders must be ethical, and make well thought out decisions. Impulsive actions meant to show power will only lead the country to problems, and lead to further criticism from experts.

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  14. I am waiting for a statement from Kambwili and Sunday Chanda. Kambili will come out strong with the following statement. Check out Kambwili’s first draft:
    “Let me warn the United Nations not to be used by Hakainde and the UPND. Let me specifically warn Dubravka Šimonovi not to meddle in the internal affairs of Zambia. She will be very sorry. She is just being used by HH to embarrass His Excellency the President. Aba ba UN, they want to make my government look bad in the eyes of Zambian voters. They’re bitter that their preferred candidate lost elections in January to H.E President Lungu. Where have they been when General Kanene was released to issue a statement now? Why are they commenting now Kanene was released in July. This UN agency does not mean well”

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    • The PF government was wrong in releasing this man and making him an Ambassodor. The President had no right…! Who in his right sense promotes a child rapes and hailes like a hero for what he did. Opens your eyes and see what is going in Zambia..! It is really sad to allow grown men have access to young girls as punishment to those who do not agree with PF government.
      The economy is collapsing and the government is putting blame on others and external organisations without even considering how this actually reflects on them…! SHAME ON YOU

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  15. Any realistic analysis of polls over the last recent elections or so points to one reality: People really just like the idea of HH, and not so much the person who winds up in front of them at the end of the day? HH could break the “tribal ceiling” at the State House. HH has the UPND name, even if HH reluctantly changed it from H(A)leisa to appease the more urban liberal voters. His CV shows he has the experience, pointing to his time in business and boardrooms. He is often quite popular, but usually only when he hasn’t been heard of for months at a time. He comes off as a bitter politician.

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  16. CONT:When HH free was pushing socialized free education he was very popular. Once he backed away from pushing wage freeze agenda and the HH followers went bust lost his political footing and scored in the 20% favorable range. In the last elections, HH was overwhelmingly popular until he ran for presidency and became a political monster once again, where he quickly fell underwater in popularity once again. 2015 HH was forced to defend his questionable ‘privatization’ record. I have noticed that every low point on the election chart graph is when HH is most visible and his high votes are when he has seemingly disappeared. Conclusion: People like the idea of HH more than HH himself. Perhaps if he could make it to Election Day without having to make a public appearance he would win in a…

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  17. If HH used the international media, then he did the right thing.
    Zambia cannot afford to seen as country that allows such nonesense

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  18. This is one man who was arrested, tried and imprisoned. I expect the idea was that he had learned something from the unpleasant experience and is in a better position to dissuade other abusers. He will know the words to use to touch the hearts of men of his kind.

    It’s sounds okay put like that, but I personally do not hold that view.

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  19. Its a crazy country. One day the President is building a national cathedral another day he is annointing a child rapist as an ambasador for the fight against gender-based violence. The next day the ambassador is busy beating up another woman The next day the president is busy pretending all this hasnt happened

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  20. Okay If you are planning to rape Lungu’s daughter you must compose a song about how good Lungu is. Everything will then be forgiven

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  21. Okay If you are planning to raype Lungu’s daughter you must first compose a song about how good Lungu is. Everything you do will then be forgiven
    Ati ba Pulezidenti!

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