File photo: INLSA
File photo: INLSA

Fury over 12 gay arrests

By Siyavuya Mzantsi Time of article published Oct 19, 2017

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Gender rights groups have reacted with outrage to reports that 12 people, including two South African men, were arrested in Tanzania because they are gay.

This as the Department of International Relations and Co-operation spokesperson Nelson Kgwete confirmed yesterday that they had requested the high commission in Dar es Salaam to follow up on reports.

Dar es Salaam police head Lazaro Mambosasa told a journalist at a weekly press conference on Wednesday that the 12 were being questioned ahead of being sent to court.

“We arrested the criminals at the hotel Peacock - they were promoting homosexuality. Two are South Africans, one Ugandan and nine Tanzanians. 

"Tanzanian law forbids this act between people of the same sex, it is a violation of our country’s laws,” Mambosasa was quoted as saying.

In a statement issued, GaySA Radio and the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival said: “Homophobia was imported in colonial times from Europe into Africa, where same-sex relationships were quite common.

“It was the law of the white man who came to tame the ‘savages’.

“What a pity that on a continent where colonialism has been fought tooth and nail by various countries, this one aspect is now being claimed as African heritage, and same-sex relationships being described as ‘un-African’.”

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