COMMISSIONER of Prisons defends General Kanene

Clifford Dimba, popularly known as ‘General’ Kanene
Clifford Dimba, popularly known as ‘General’ Kanene

COMMISSIONER of Prisons Percy Chato has defended the Zambia Prisons Service (ZPS) for ‘releasing’ incarcerated musician Clifford Dimba recently to perform during the International Women’s Day in Lusaka.
Following the performance by Dimba, better known as General Kanene, at Lusaka’s National Heroes Stadium on March 8, 2015, the Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council said it is an insult and unacceptable that the musician  was allowed out of prison.
Dimba’s `release’ has triggered wide debate including through letters to newspapers with some endorsing the decision and others saying he should be confined behind bars until he serves his 18-year sentence for defiling a 14-year-old girl.
Mr Chato, however, said yesterday that the Ministry of Gender and Child Development made a request to ZPS to allow Dimba to perform during International Women’s Day.
“The issue of performing at Heroes Stadium was a request made by the Ministry of Gender and we did not object. The singer sang a song called `Malamulo’ which is all about fighting crimes such as GBV and defilement.  It is only that people are biased,” Mr Chato said.
Mr Chato wondered why Dimba and ZPS are being criticised because there is nothing odd about an inmate performing at a public event if he is not a threat to the public and the country.
Mr Chato said Dimba is not the only inmate to perform in public, saying there are groups of singers at Lusaka Central Prison and Chingola Prison Choir that record music and are invited to sing outside prison.
Mr Chato said it is not odd for prisoners to sing in public because in some countries such as South Africa, Swaziland and Mexico, they are invited to perform.
“Gen Kanene is just one prisoner, first and foremost, and what the singer is doing is to fight crime and defilement,” Mr Chato said.
He said society should give prisoners a second chance to change and look at reformation positively.
Dimba, who is confined to Lusaka Central Prison, popularly known as Chimbokaila, has appealed against his conviction and sentence to the Supreme Court.



Daily Mail


  1. Its part of his jail time just like saint micheal was used to educate youths about the danger of using service

  2. kanene is a victim. he was unfairly treated. putting him behind bars is putting hs talent to waste. he is a great artist.

  3. Kanene seem to be getting special treatment.i don’t understand.what about other prisoners? He was the wrong man for that event.period! Its strange that women flocked to him in masses as if they wanted something from him.weird!

  4. When someone is sent to prison it doesn’t mean that person is an animal! Not everyone that go to prison are guilty.

    • Michael – Kanene was found guilty by court! He must serve his sentence – What’s special about him other than a sex-convict? What would you feel if he had raped any of your female relative (daughter or niece or sister, aunt, mother)?

  5. And the women were rushin towards him in numbers to appreciate his music on womens day!!!

  6. Mwansa Chola that is utopia. If you were subjected to rape, aggravated robbery, or something like that you would shut up before you say anything. This world can be so cruel to give up prison systems.

  7. Click twice u will get to the story. I i agree with the commissioner. Nothing wrong with gk performing on request