Denmark halts aid to Tanzania after anti-gay comment by its official

This is indeed a controversial news. Last month, Paul Makonda Commissioner for the commercial capital Dar es Salaam and a strong and faithful alley of Tanzanian President called on his public to report suspected gay men to police. Furthermore, he is expecting to set up an investigation squad to track down all the gay men in the country.

This was taken as an offensive and homophobic comment by the Government of Denmark and it planned to halt its aid to Tanzania. Now it is reported that Denmark is withholding 65m Krone in aid to Tanzania as it was tweeted by Development Minister of Denmark, Ms. Ullah Tornaes,

“I am very concerned about the negative development in Tanzania. A totally homophobic statement issued by the commissioner. I have therefore decided to withhold DKK 65m in the country because respect for human rights is crucial for Denmark.”

Tanzania is a country with only 35% of Muslim community and majority are Christians. Although it is not completely a Muslim country but still homosexuality acts are illegal and taken as a crime in Tanzania. The law explains that anyone caught with homosexuality act will be sentenced up to 30 years imprisonment.

However, the communicators of Tanzania recently reported that the statements against gay people have increased after 2015 elections in which John Magufulis was elected as the president of the country. In the year 2017, Tanzania’s Deputy Health Minister defended a threat to issue a list of all gay people. In the same year Tanzania deported three South African lawyers for promoting homosexuality in the country. Many people were also arrested and sentenced to imprisonment for alleged homosexuality. Earlier this month ten men were also arrested for conducting same-sex marriages ceremonies.

The government has not yet commented on Denmark’s reaction. They have distanced themselves saying Mr. Makonda was sharing his own personal views and it has no connection with Government. Since the Danish statement came forward everyone is wondering what is going to happen further because Denmark is said to be the second highest aid distributor in Tanzania.

Mr. Paul Makonda was quite aware of the international criticism and said that he prefers to anger those countries than angering his God.

It is also reported that the Government of Tanzania will continue to respect and uphold all human rights as provided for in the country’s constitution.

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