They are known to speak out on national issues and often support different government programmes.Thus it is not surprising that they have led the way among artistes calling for the amendment of the constitution to remove article 101 on Presidential term limits.
Joshua Polly Tuyishime, known by the stage name Jay Polly and Eric Senderi, the self-proclaimed International Hit, who now goes by the name Mayweather, have come out as the first musicians to support the call for lifting of Presidential term limits.
The duo first made their position known over the weekend during an interview with Radio 10 talkshow “Ten Tonight” and now they have confirmed to The New Times that they will take their campaign to the next level until parliament listens to their pleas.
“I was born and raised in this country. The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi happened when I was in this country. I have also witnessed the tremendous changes this country has undergone under President Kagame’s leadership, in just a short time,” Jay Polly told The New Times.
He added; “We do not want this progress to be interrupted. The constitution was put in place by Rwandans and they are the only ones who can change it in their own interests. So I support the idea because President Kagame is the man who can steer the country to its desired development targets.”
Jay Polly, who won Season 4 of Primus GumaGuma Superstar (PGGSS) said that the motivation behind backing constitutional amendment is because, music, like other sectors of the economy, has not been left behind.
“President Kagame encourages the youth every day to stop looking at office jobs alone and encourages us to be job creators rather than job seekers. In the same light, we have been able to use our talents to make a living.”
“This progress cannot be halted because of an article in the constitution. As a musician, earning a living from music alone, I say we should not deprive ourselves of an opportunity,” Jay Polly added.
Senderi on the other hand said that Rwanda has been able to transform itself from a country devastated by the genocide to a country with hope and a bright future and that has been possible because of President Kagame.
“He taught us that we are a people with a destiny and dignity. He has put Rwanda on the global map. We need to allow him more time to accomplish what he started and this is something Rwandans in general have had a consensus on,” Senderi said.
The two artistes say that while they are yet to deliver a petition to the parliament, they are looking at mobilising their colleagues to join the campaign to call for constitutional amendment.
“At the moment we are going to use the resources at our disposal, through our music and media and through our fans to make sure that the message eventually reaches President Kagame,” said Jay Polly.
The two artistes said that parliament should listen to the calls of the people to amend article 101.
The article, which has since seen more than 4.5 million Rwandans petition parliament, states that the President of the Republic can only seek two seven year terms in office, but millions of Rwandans are now calling for its removal.
Parliament will debate the petitions in the next session beginning June 5. President Kagame’s current term ends in 2017.