THE Zambia Association of Musicians says there was nothing wrong with Clifford Dimba performing at Heroes Stadium during the commemoration of International Women’s Day. The association was reacting to Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council chairperson Sarah Longwe’s statement that it was an insult and unacceptable for Dimba, popularly known as ‘General’ Kanene, to be allowed out of prison to perform during the commemoration of Women’s Day on Sunday. The singer is currently serving an 18-year jail term for defiling a 14-year-old pupil in 2012.
In a statement, ZAM president Njoya Tembo said Kanene was reformed and his experience could be used to sensitise many Zambians. He said Kanene would inform and reach out to many Zambians using his lyrics. “It is with concern that the NGOCC chairperson has totally closed her eyes to see the good society can retrieve from the incarceration of ‘General’ Kanene. As much as the crime he committed was/is unacceptable to society, his fame should not be used against ourselves, especially that defilement is happening this very minute in Zambia,” Tembo said.
“We are happy with Kanene’s conduct in prison and pray that he should continue bringing out the lessons and experiences he is learning from prison to help educate and warn would-be offenders about the dangers of being in prison. As musicians, we remain committed in raising awareness on the importance of protecting the girl child against abuse, early marriages, defilement, etc and in advocating their education and more opportunities for a better tomorrow.” He also thanked the Zambia Prisons Service and the government for allowing Kanene to conduct sensitisation programmes. “We commend the prison service for being proactive. Musicians that are enjoying their freedom must be ready to support such a cause,” said Tembo. Prison authorities have been allowing Kanene to entertain fellow inmates at special events.
On Sunday during International Women’s Day commerations, Kanene temporarily left prison to entertain people where he performed his Osa Faka Lamulo Mu Manja song. But Longwe said the government should not be bringing Kanene out of prison every now and then. “He is not feeling it and that song he brought out, he brought it for money. He is making money and they are using our day to popularise it. That is an insult and unacceptable, it goes against the theme, ‘Gender is my Agenda; Make it happen’, instead they didn’t make it happen, they just went the opposite, insulted us again,” said Longwe.
“Our day, instead of being a happy day, turned out to be a sad one, bringing out somebody who has insulted our dignity. I mean, some people went and greeted him and all that. They saw it from a different angle but us as the women movement, we are supposed to look at different angles but all the angles we were looking at were wrong.” The Lusaka High Court last year sentenced Kanene to 18 years imprisonment with hard labour for defilement, but he has appealed against the sentence.
– See more at: http://www.postzambia.com/news.php?id=6698#sthash.m5qwiRBM.dpuf