Tanzania Threatens To Publish List of Homosexuals

Fredrick Ngugi February 20, 2017
The Tanzanian government threatens to publish a list of homosexuals. Human Rights Watch

In its renewed fight against homosexuality, the Tanzanian government has announced its plan to publish a list of homosexuals allegedly trafficking sex online.

The announcement, which was made on Saturday by Tanzania’s Deputy Health Minister, Hamisi Kigwangalla, comes a few months after the Tanzanian government partially banned the use of sexual lubricants in the country and suspended registration of charity and non-governmental organizations that support homosexuality, reports Deutsche Welle.

“I will publish a list of gay people selling their bodies online. Those who think this campaign is a joke are wrong. The government has long arms, and it will quietly arrest all those involved,” Kigwangalla wrote on Twitter.

Anti-Gay Rhetoric

Until recently, the Tanzanian government appeared silent on homosexuality in the country; however, since President John Pombe Magufuli came in to office last year, there appears to be a renewed anti-gay stance that’s being spread by politicians, particularly those in government.

On Thursday, Tanzania’s Minister of Health, Ummy Mwalimu, issued a statement suspending the licenses of at least 40 health clinics providing HIV/AIDS services over claims of supporting homosexuality.

The minister said the indefinite suspension was meant to ensure the clinics were not providing HIV-related services to homosexuals.

Since last year, a number of Tanzanian men have been arrested and taken to the hospital for anal tests to determine if they are gay.

The Tanzanian constitution prohibits homosexuality and any man found guilty of having sex with another man faces a jail term of not less than 30 years or life imprisonment.

The penal code, however, does not talk about lesbians.

Human Rights Violation

Tanzania is the latest to join the bandwagon of countries castigating homosexuals in Africa; Somalia, Sudan, and Nigeria have already made homosexuality a criminal offense punishable by death.

The Nigerian constitution also prohibits anyone from supporting homosexuality and any person who either administers, witnesses, or abets any form of same-sex activity faces a 10-year jail term.

In Uganda, homosexuals have been forced to flee to neighboring countries for fear of being attacked, after the country’s parliament passed an anti-gay law in 2014, commonly referred to as the “kill the gays bill.”

Human rights defenders and non-government organizations in Africa and abroad have continuously criticized these legislations, terming them the worst form of human rights abuse.

South Africa is ranked as the most liberal African country with regards to upholding gay rights, since its constitution guarantees gay and lesbian rights.

Same-sex marriages are permitted in South Africa under the current constitution.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: February 20, 2017


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