International charity Oxfam says it does not condone the violence against women committed by controversial musician Clifford Dimba commonly known as General Kanene.
Some UN human rights experts have called on the Zambian Government to prove its commitment to tackle gender-based violence by stripping Musician Clifford Dimba, known as General Kanene of the title of Ambassador in the fight against gender violence.
“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.
“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. Rather, Clifford Dimba has been placed in a prominent position and even portrayed as a role model to fight violence against women.”
“It constitutes an utter disrespect for women and girls in Zambia who might rightly feel that their Government is not protecting them.”
Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography added, “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.”
The experts highlighted that the granting of General Kanene’s pardon is incompatible with Zambia’s international human rights obligations, and President Lungu’s role as a champion in the UN Women’s campaign He for She.
But Oxfam in Zambia Country Director Dailes Judge said in a statement that the organization did not invite General Kanene to attend the anti GBV training where several other musicians attended.
Ms. Judge revealed that the participation at training was at the discretion of musicians.
She said Oxfam Zambia’s Ambassador Brian Bwembya aka BFlow received funding and material support from Oxfam and he was the one responsible for running the training.
Below is the full statement from Oxfam