Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has backed the government stand on homosexuality, saying even animals don’t practice it.
Tanzania declared early this month that it was ready to end diplomatic ties with Britain if the latter imposed conditions on aid it provides, one of which was tolerance to, if not outright approval of, homosexuality.
He said that homosexuality was both immoral and unacceptable to the country’s traditions and customs. He said the government stand as announced by Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister Bernard Membe reflected correctly the government stance on the matter.
“You are not being fair to me as the government has already made its stand clear on the matter…but since you want to get my opinion, I would like to say that homosexuality is unacceptable to our society,” he said.
The premier was responding to a question from Rejia Mtema (Chadema, Special Seats), who had wanted to know whether the government had already prepared itself to forego financial assistance from the UK, following its recent threat to withhold aid to countries which suppress gay rights.
Membe said that Tanzania could not be dictated to by UK to do things that were against its laws, culture and regulations, adding that it was ready for any eventuality for the sake of protecting the country’s dignity and respect of its people.
He said the government was well aware of the prevailing level of poverty in the country, but it wasn’t ready to accept aid on conditions that promoted homosexuality.
Out of 54 Commonwealth member countries, only 13 have legalised homosexuality.
British premier David Cameron recently threatened to withhold assistance to governments that suppress gay rights.
Cameron raised the issue with some heads of state at the recent Commonwealth summit held in Perth, Australia.