Clifford Dimba raped a teen and assaulted women. But his country says he’s a role model.

 

Zambian singer Clifford Dimba was sentenced to 18 years’ jail in 2014 for raping a 14-year-old girl – a rare conviction in a country rife with child sex abuse.

But earlier this year, one year into his sentence, he was pardoned for the horrific crime after he wrote a flattering song about President Edgar Lungu.

Not only was he released from prison 17 years early, but he was also appointed as an “ambassador in the fight against gender violence”.

Four days after his release, Dimba – known as General Kanene – allegedly assaulted one of his three wives (polygamy is legal and common practice in Zambia) for refusing to have sex with him.

Three months later, he was arrested again for allegedly assaulting a 32-year-old woman he claims was a prostitute.

Still, his title remains.

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Check out one of his performances from prison, where he says he raised awareness of gender violence:

Now, United Nations human rights experts have called on the Zambian Government to revoke the “outrageous” appointment and stop pardoning crimes against women and girls, The Independent reports.

“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,” UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women Dubravka Šimonović said.

“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.”

You’d almost be hard-pressed to find a worse ambassador.

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