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Zambian president pardons convicted rapist, sparks outrage

Edgar Lungu has been harshly criticised by the UN over his decision to pardon singer Clifford Dimba.

FILE. Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Zambian President Edgar Lungu has been harshly criticised by the United Nations for pardoning the rapist of a 14-year-old school girl and then appointing him as an ambassador in the fight against gender violence against women.

The world body's special rapporteur on violence against women say this has traumatised the victim all over again and discouraged women from reporting rape.

Zambian singer Clifford Dimba, known as General Kanene was sentenced to 18 years in jail after being convicted last year of raping the 14-year-old.

He was released after serving a year of his sentence and has since been involved in two further acts of violence against women.

UN special rapporteur Dubravka Šimonović has described Dimba's release and appointment as outrageous.

He says it undermines the strong message sent against sexual abuse of young children made by the original sentence.

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