THOUSANDS of music supporters and civil rights activists in Tanzania are calling for the disqualification of Tanzanian artiste Diamond Platinumz from this year’s BET Awards, citing his dubious closeness to political heavyweights implicated in kidnapping, torturing and murdering innocent civilians in the past five years.
Diamond is on record defending his closeness to the regime on the grounds that he belongs to the same political party as the ruling demagogues accused of committing the alleged crimes against humanity.
Some of the activists have drafted and sent letters to the organisers, pleading for the immediate “ejection of Diamond Platinumz from the list of nominees” for the award.
Others are already signing a petition to that effect; and the campaign is going viral. Below, is one of the letters sent to the organisers:
Naseeb Abdul known as DIAMOND PLATINUMZ is a Tanzanian musician who has been part of a repressive regime of President John Magufuli, which has been kidnapping and killing defenseless Tanzanians. Diamond Platinumz is having a very cozy relationship with ruthless Tanzanian rulers.
It is with great shame that BET nominated Diamond Platinumz as one of its potential award winners. This is a very disturbing move in the light of bloodshed that Diamond has been part of.
Diamond was very instrumental in the re-election of Tanzania’s fallen dictator John Pombe Magufuli and his henchmen, some of whom have been accused of gross human rights violations, including kidnapping and killing of innocent and defenseless Tanzanians.
Diamond has been one of the government mouths pieces, standing on stage with the demagogic president, composing songs to praise his dictatorial acts. During the 2020 election campaigns, Diamond spent good three months with the incumbent president and his campaign team that used him to influence and woo the public.
While the opposition and the government critics were being beaten up, arrested and even killed, Diamond was on the incumbent’s campign trail using his stardom to influence the public in support of the repressive regime.
It is on record that, following the regime’s tainted reputation, the United States Department went as far as blacklisting (sanctioning) some of its ring leaders who happen to be very close friends of Diamond Platinumz.
When Ibrahim Mshana (Roma Mkatoliki), another famous artiste, was kidnapped and badly tortured by the regime’s security agents, on the very day of abduction, Diamond was spotted with the key abduction suspect.
His manager, Babu Taletale, along with the then Regional Commissioners for Dar-es-Salaam Paul Makonda, spent two days together, before Diamond released a song categorically stating that he would never condemn any human rights violations committed by Makonda.
We hope, therefore that, BET will eject Mr. Naseeb Abdul from the list of award nominees; otherwise, we will assume that BET is also a party to human right abuses across the world and should be boycotted.
This letter is copied to the organisers: Brittany.firstname.lastname@example.org, Mia.email@example.com, Luis.Defraank@bet.net, Danielle.firstname.lastname@example.org and Chloe.Williams@bet.net.
SAUTI KUBWA was not immediately able to get the organisers’ reaction but one of the activists involved in the drafting and dissemination of this communication, Liberatus Mwang’ombe, said they wish to put it on record that human rights abusers and their accomplices should never be rewarded with a global platform.
He said the organisers must appreciate the fact that music should be a tool for protecting people’s lives, not for demolishing them; and that however famous some persons might be, their disregard for human life should be enough reason to disqualify them.
The campaign goes on.