Makonda campaign stokes controversy as govt sends mixed messages

10Nov 2018
Getrude Mbago
The Guardian
Makonda campaign stokes controversy as govt sends mixed messages

HOME Affairs Minister Kangi Lugola yesterday cleared the air by saying homosexuality and gay marriages remain illegal in Tanzania and the government will not by any means entertain such acts.

HOME Affairs Minister Kangi Lugola

This contradicts a statement he made last Sunday in which he said the lives of those involved in homosexuality were not at risk.

He directed those receiving threats to report to the nearest police station.

“Tanzania will also continue to respect and uphold all human rights as provided for in the country's constitution,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.

Yesterday’s statement by Lugola also contradicts an earlier statement made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation which claimed that a campaign initiated by Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda to expose and arrest gays in the region was personal and did not necessarily reflect the government stance.

The statement said the government would “continue to respect all international human rights conventions which it subscribes to”.

Lugola however stressed in parliament yesterday that Tanzanian laws provide that whoever performs same sex acts, whether willingly or by force, commits an offence.

He was responding to a question raised by Konde lawmaker (CUF) Khatib Said Hajji who sought to know the government stance on the issue of homosexuality and same sex marriages.

When debating proposals of the National Development Plan 2019/20 and Guidelines for the Preparation of the 2019/20 Budget, the lawmaker accused Minister Lugola and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Augustine Mahiga of issuing statements which showed that the country supported homosexuality.

“Tanzanians detest homosexual acts, but minister Lugola and his counterpart at Foreigner Affairs have been issuing mixed statements on this,” Hajji said.

“Our country’s laws are very clear. We should not be tempted by aid and grants from donors to support these acts in our country,” he insisted.

Responding, Lugola said the public should not misconstrue the statements, adding that the government of Tanzania will never allow homosexuality and same sex marriages in the country.





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