Some Tanzanians have launched a petition to have one of the country's music stars musician, Diamond Platnumz, disqualified from BET Awards Best International Act category.
According to the petition published on Change.org, the Best international act which the artiste has been nominated for has consistently gone to artists who have been very conscientious and stood up for justice for African lives, something which they believe Diamond Platnumz has failed to do.
The petitioners stated that the artiste used his popularity and his talent to whitewash and deodorize the "brutal repression" of the late president John Magufuli, who they call a dictator, and his time in office.
They explained that Diamond Platnumz, who is affiliated to late Magufuli's party, in many instances chose to protect and expand his personal and business interest by praising and using his star power to soften the image of a brutal dictator and his collaborators.
He remained silent despite the increased level of repression which saw some of his fellow artists get imprisoned and abducted, throughout Magufuli's reign which began in 2016, they added.
"In 2017, he deliberately released a single called "Acha Nikae Kimya" (Let me remain quiet) as a response to the increasing demand from the public to speak up and condemn the crackdowns. Diamond to-date has not condemned or spoken up on any of the atrocities committed."
"In 2020 despite a huge outcry locally and internationally against Magufuli and his regime, Diamond endorsed this brutal dictator, dedicated a song to him ("Magufuli Baba Lao") and several times took to stage with him during campaign."
Although, during the #EndSARS protest in Nigeria, Diamond tweeted solidarity with Nigeria but deliberately chose to remain quiet on the atrocities happening in Tanzania during the elections, the petitioners added among other things.
"After the BET Awards 2021 nomination for best international act, Diamond took to the media and spoke disparagingly of activists, then paid a visit to his party's headquarters CCM whereby his nomination was hailed as some sort of achievement for the party and the nation."
Diamond Platnumz, they stated, should be taken out of the race for the Best International Act because of his failure to show basic concern and publicly express any solidarity with his fellow artists and also chose to protect and expand his personal and business interest by praising and using his star power to soften the image of a "brutal dictator" and his collaborators.
"BET awards have been always held in high esteem by many Africans for its recognition of talent of exemplary artists. Both Davido (2018) and Burna Boy (2019 and 2020) have been in the frontline at the #EndSARS protests using their star power and fame to shed light on injustice and even protect civilians from police brutality."
"Diamond Platnumz is a selfish, greedy opportunist and an apologist of a repressive regime who chose to deliberately turn a blind eye to atrocities and associate, praise and collaborate with renowned human rights violators like Paul Makonda and John Magufuli," parts of the petition addressed to Black Entertainment Television (BET), the organizers reads.
The BET Best International Act nominees for 2021 are Aya Nakamura (FRANCE), Burna Boy (NIGERIA), Diamond Platnumz (TANZANIA), Emicida (BRAZIL), Headie One (UK), Wizkid (NIGERIA), Young T and Bugsey (UK) and Youssoupha (FRANCE).
Meanwhile, over 18,000 people have signed the petition.