• President of Tanzania John Magufuli and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (not seen) hold a joint press conference after their meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. (Anadolu (Photo by Magdalene Mukami/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images))Source: Anadolu (Photo by Magdalene Mukami/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
The country’s president and home affairs minister have both threatened NGOs offering support to the gay community.
Michaela Morgan

29 Jun 2017 - 9:47 AM  UPDATED 29 Jun 2017 - 9:49 AM

Authorities in Tanzania have an announced a crackdown on the country’s LGBT+ community with the Home Affairs Minister warning that anyone found to be campaigning for gay rights will be imprisoned.

Mwigulu Nchemba spoke at a rally on Sunday and threatened Tanzanian locals and international agencies who support the gay community, Reuters reports

"Those who want to campaign for gay rights should find another country that allows those things," the minister said.

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“When the government know they have done something very bad and everyone is talking about it, they use LGBT people as a strategy to defend themselves.”

"If we establish that any organisation registered in our country is campaigning for gay rights ... I will deregister that organisation. If a Tanzanian national is doing that campaign, we will arrest him and take him to court ... and if it is a foreigner, we will immediately order him to leave the country."

Nchemba’s comments come just days after Tanzania’s president John Magufuli strongly condemned foreign NGOs that support LGBT+ rights and compared the gay community to cattle.

"Those who teach such things do not like us, brothers. They brought us drugs and homosexual practices that even cows disapprove of," Magufuli said.

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“The more silent we remain, the more we die.”

Tanzania is already a dangerous country for LGBT+ people—sexual activity between men is illegal and can be punished with life imprisonment.

But this year the government has ramped up efforts to oppress the LGBT+ community—including banning 40 private drop-in clinics that offered HIV/AIDS services to gay men, transgender people and sex workers.

Earlier this year, the country’s health minister Hamisi Kigwangalla threatened to publish a list of gay people allegedly selling sex online.