Diamond Platnumz would be charged with misprision of treason should he go ahead and perform in Kenya on December 24, 26 and 31 on the back of a ban issued by the Tanzania’s arts board, BASATA, the agency’s interim executive secretary, Onesmo Kayanda, says.
Misprision of prison, among other treason-related offences, is a seditious conduct against the government or the courts, which under Section 41 of Tanzania’s Penal Code (Chapter 16) attracts a punishment of life imprisonment.
On Tuesday, Baraza la Sanaa la Taifa (BASATA) banned the musician from performing in and outside Tanzania following his “unruly” behaviour.
BASATA announced that the musician and his WCB colleague, Rayvanny, performed the outlawed “Mwanza” song during their Wasafi Festival tours held across different regions in Tanzania recently.
“The board has reached a decision to formally ban Diamond and Rayvanny from holding performances in and outside Tanzania due to their indiscipline and disrespect to BASATA. The Wasafi Festival organisers have shown that they would do everything possible to disregard the board. The musicians are, therefore, indefinitely banned from performing in Tanzania and any other foreign nation,” said BASATA in a statement to newsroom.
Diamond Platnumz has a string of shows to headline in Kenya, including a December 24 concert in Embu, Mombasa (December 26) and Nairobi (December 31).
And now, the arts board says that the musician would be charged with misprision of treason if he defies that edict. On top of that, his arts license will be revoked, said Mr Kayanda.
“BASATA is a subset of the Government, and when one defies the State, the Government is left with no choice but to charge him with treason. The Prosecution would, thereafter, take up the case,” Mr Kayanda told Tanzania’s Bongo 5.
It, however, remains unclear the grounds on which BASATA would base their case.
“Diamond Platnumz and his team have developed a tendency of using sexually-offensive language in their songs, and while performing on stage. We’ve tried reaching out to him thrice – and even issued stern warnings to the musician, but he has been elusive and ungovernable. We decided to rein in on him. We have reached a decision to stop him from performing because we want to show him that authorities must be respected,” said Mr Kayanda.
“He must receive permission from BASATA to perform anywhere in and outside Tanzania; and that permission is what we have denied him; [so his concerts in Kenya are in jeopardy],” said the arts board boss.
Mr Kayanda’s tough talk comes a few hours after Diamond Platnumz’s manager, Babu Tale, said the musician’s Kenyan concerts slated for Embu, Mombasa and Nairobi will go on as planned despite the BASATA ban.
In an interview with EDAILY on Tuesday, Babu Tale said: “The [Kenyan] concerts will go on as planned. To be specific, all of them.”
When asked how his team will deal with the BASATA ban, Babu Tale said: “That is our task. We will reach out to them and see how we can meet half-way. Meanwhile, we’ll handle the consequences when we get there.”
Diamond Platnumz and Rayvanny’s song “Mwanza” was banned from playing on Tanzanian radio and TV stations in mid-November 2018 due to its “sexually-offensive” lyrics.
The ban was extended to recent Wasafi shows held by the crooners across Tanzania.