LUSAKA based musician Clifford Dimba, popularly known as 'General' Kanene has been sentenced to 18 years with hard labour for defiling a 14-year-old girl.
Lusaka High Court Judge Chalwe Mchenga said after he confirmed Dimba's conviction yesterday that he was sending him to prison because he broke the law by having unlawful sex with a girl under the age of 16.
Mr Justice Mchenga said Dimba's defilement of the girl was premeditated seeing that he had asked the girl to carry clothes with her so that after school he could meet her and have sex with her.
"On the day when you wanted to have sex with her you knew it, you planned for it because you told the girl to come with clothes and not in her uniform," Mr Justice Mchenga said.
Mr Justice Mchenga said the offence of defilement has become prevalent and as such he was going to impose a sentence that would deter would-be offenders.
"I sentence you to 18 years imprisonment with hard labour effective February 4th, 2014 the date when you were convicted," Mr Justice Mchenga said.
Dimba, 27, of house number B/02 Misisi Township, was charged with the defilement of the girl on January 31, 2012 and later Lusaka magistrate Rodgers Kaoma found him guilty of defiling the girl who was a grade seven pupil of Kamwala South Township.
Mr Justice Mchenga said he was satisfied with Lusaka magistrate Rodgers Kaoma's conviction of Dimba and that the lower court could not be faulted because it was true that Kanene had sex with the girl.
He said that some prosecution witnesses presented to the court an enrollment form for 2007 which showed that the girl was born on March 25, 1998.
Mr Justice Mchenga ruled that the birth certificate and under-five card which Kanene had wanted to be presented to the court to confirm the age of the girl were secondary evidence.
Earlier, one of Dimba's defence lawyers Tresford Chali had asked the court to stay the sentencing and instead grant them permission to appeal to the Supreme Court to have his case reviewed, an application Mr Justice Mchenga refused to grant.
Dimba in his mitigation through his defence lawyer Nicholas Chanda and Mr Chali asked the court to slap a sentence that would enable Dimba to use lessons learnt from his conduct to impart good morals in other people.
Mr Chanda said that his client was a musical icon who had made a mark and contributed to the income of the nation, adding that even a minimum sentence of 15 years would suffice in order for Dimba to revive his career afterwards.