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Tanzania refuses to tolerate homosexuality despite struggling as aid donors pull funding

The finance minister said the loss of funding poses a serious challenge but 'there was no way' they can accept homosexuality

By Steve Brown

Tanzania has refused to tolerate homosexuality despite struggling as aid donors pull funding.

Paul Makonda, Regional Commissioner of Tanzania’s largest city Dar es Salaam, announced that he was creating special squads to catch LGBT people, and encouraged citizens to report people suspected of being gay.

On October 31, Makonda tweeted that “more than 100 gay” people had been reported by their fellow citizens and that authorities would “take action”.

A week after, Amnesty International reported that ten men were arrested in the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar after police received a tip-off that a same-sex marriage was taking place.

Following the reported treatment of the LGBT community, Denmark’s development minister Ulla Tornaes took to Twitter to reveal that aid money – which is equivalent to £7.5m – will not be given to the country.

Denmark is reportedly Tanzania’s second biggest aid donor and the minister also postponed a trip to the east African country.

The EU – which is Tanzania’s biggest development partner – also said it was reviewing its support to the African country.

Each year, the EU provides more than €100m annually to the country.

However, despite severe lack of aid funding, Tanzania’s finance minister Philip Mpango said “there was no way” the country could accept homosexuality, Watermark Online reported.

He went on to admit that the loss of aid poses a serious challenge as the country struggles to fund several multi-billion-dollar projects.

Homosexual acts are illegal in the African country and is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.