Is Koffi’s crime worse than Kanene’s?
Congolese rhumba star Koffi Olomide is being seriously vilified. Deported from Kenya, booed in the DR Congo, and barred from performing in Zambia, all for kicking one of his dancing queens at an airport in Kenya – and being caught on camera. All good, but the reaction in Zambia is interesting. Koffi may be a nasty guy. His record certainly suggests so, with several violent incidents behind him, and a three-month suspended jail sentence in his home country. However, how about our own (slightly less famous) musician, General Kanene? In 2015, Kanene was safely behind bars, serving 18 months for defilement of a 14-year-old girl, but President Lungu took it upon himself to pardon him. Not only that, but he also made Kanene his personal ambassador in the fight against defilement. Out of prison, a reformed man, according to Kanene, rumours began to circulate that Kanene had beaten up his third wife, and later he was arrested for assaulting a woman in Lusaka (the case was dropped when the woman didn’t show up). Yet, President Lungu found nothing wrong in having a serial-womaniser and assaulter as his personal ambassador until the United Nations began to talk with capital letters. Only then did Lungu demote Kanene. Koffi was barred from performing in Zambia by the Agricultural and Commercial Society of Zambia, which bowed to public pressure. That should also have happened for General Kanene.
Camilla Hebo Buus, Editor Zambia Weekly