The President of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli. Photo, REUTERS/Sadi Said/File Photo

In Tanzania this week, a national search for homosexuals begins. Every year, the country receives hundreds of millions in international aid from Norway. Christian Tybring-Gjedde with Fremskrittspartiet (The Progressive Party) will go through the Norwegian international aid policy.

The Governor of Tanzania’s largest city and its capital until 1996, Dar-es-Salaam, is the inaugurator of a plan for mass arrests of homosexuals in his country. He states that he prefers other countries to respond to what he has begun rather than causing God to be angry with Tanzania.

– I prefer the wrath of other countries to making God angry with us, Governor Paul Makonda says to the Financial Times.


Makonda announced the plan on Monday last week. The Guardian reports that he the next day argued that he had received more than 5.000 hints. Now a recently established surveillance group will search through the social medias for people who are engaged in a relationship with someone of the same sex and arrest them.

The plan worries activists fighting for the rights of homosexuals, chiefly because of the maltreatment and the sexual abuses that homosexuals often suffer in prison.

– They arrest you and tell other men that «with this one you can only have anal sexual intercourse, as that’s what he’s up to», an activist tells the Guardian.


According to the Community Leader of Amnesty International Norge, Tale Hungnes, Tanzania is on its way towards a more authoritarian society.

– Tanzania has since long gone through an authoritarian development, she tells the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

After John Pombe Magufuli took over as president of the country in 2015, there is less freedom of press and speech in Tanzania, and young girls are expelled from school if they get pregnant. Homosexuality has been illegal in the country ever since Tanzania was a British colony. In 2017, the Minister of Health decided to shut down 40 HIV and AIDS clinics, thinking that such clinics encourage homosexuality.

I 2017, Tanzania received 374 million Nkr in international aid from Norway. The debate about the Norwegian policy on international aid is not a fresh one. Many have questioned whether it is of any help to the poor people of this world that Norway provides money to the regimes reigning them.

The Professor of Globalisation, Indra de Soysa from Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet (NTNU, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology) has researched Norwegian international aid and its effect. In 2012, he told that he was convinced that the aid had no effect whatsoever and that the money is used for grenades and firearms.

– When a bad regime receives international aid money to build hospitals and schools, the same regime can use the money from other items on the budget to purchase weapons. The internationally renowned researcher on international aid, Paul Collier, suggests that at least 40 per cent of African military expenses are financed by international aid money. Norwegian international aid is no exception from this reality, de Soysa claims.


Translated to English by Lars Hoem

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