Tanzania has threatened to arrest and deport those campaigning for gay rights and de-register organisations protecting homosexual interests, local media reported Monday.
“I would like to remind and warn all organisations and institutions that campaign and pretend to protect homosexual interests … we are going to arrest whoever is involved and charge them in courts of law,” the state-owned Daily News quoted Interior Minister Mwigulu Nchemba as saying.
In the country’s latest attack on its homosexual community, Nchemba also said foreigners involved in such campaigns would be “deported within no time … they will not have even the time to unplug their mobile phones from the socket.”
“Those who are interested in homosexuality should go and live in countries that entertain such businesses. If there’s any organisation in the country that supports and campaigns for homosexuality … it shall be deregistered.”
Nchemba’s comments come just days after President John Magufuli slammed NGOs who campaign for gay rights, saying they should be countered even if this meant losing foreign aid.
“Those who teach such things do not like us, brothers. They brought us drugs and homosexual practices that even cows disapprove of,” Magufuli said in a speech last Thursday.
Gay male sex is punishable by anything from 30 years to life imprisonment under Tanzanian law. However, politicians have largely ignored the gay community — which has not experienced the levels of discrimination seen in other countries such as neighbouring Uganda — until a recent spike in anti-gay rhetoric by the government. Read more via AFP