Tanzania loses Denmark aid, World Bank loan over 'homophobia' concerns

Elias Hubbard
November 16, 2018

Tanzania's second-biggest donor made the move after the administrative chief of capital city Dodoma, Paul Makonda, urged citizens to "report" suspected gay people to the police.

Tanzania has seen its 2nd biggest donor Denmark withhold aid to the country after what was described as "unacceptable homophobic statements".

Homosexual acts are illegal in Tanzania and punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

In the last few weeks, Tanzanian President John Magufuli's Government has been criticised by rights groups and foreign governments for what they say is growing authoritarianism, intolerance of dissent and rising attacks on human rights. There was a government threat to publish a list of gay people known to the law enforcers.

"I am very concerned about the negative development in Tanzania". Most recently the totally unacceptable homophobic statements from a commissioner I have therefore chose to withhold DKK 65m from the country.

"I have therefore made a decision to withhold DKK 65m [about $10 million] from the country".

Tanzania's ambassador to Denmark, Dr Wilbrod Slaa (who is based in Stockholm), has been summoned to explain the situation, while Tørnæs has already met with Tanzania's foreign minister.

"I will look at changing that, so we don't work directly with a Government leading a politic that goes in the wrong direction on human rights issues". Ms Tornaes communicated on Twitter.

Reuters was not able to reach Tanzanian government officials for immediate comment.

Mr Makonda - a staunch ally of the president - said last month that he expected worldwide criticism for his stance, but added: "I prefer to anger those countries than to anger God".

It said the government would "continue to respect and uphold all human rights as provided for in the country's constitution". Ten gay men were reportedly arrested this week for attending a same-sex wedding.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER