Faith-based homophobia has just cost Tanzania millions in foreign aid

Faith-based homophobia has just cost Tanzania millions in foreign aid November 15, 2018

At the beginning of November, a defiant Paul Makonda, above, announced plans to round up and punish members of Tanzania’s LGBT community, saying he didn’t care a jot what other countries thought of this attack on human rights.

The Commissioner for the commercial capital Dar es Salaam said he expected criticism from abroad but added:

I prefer to anger those countries than to anger God.

Well, his words have just cost his country almost $10-million.

Denmark has just announced that it is withholding 65-million($9.8m) in aid as a result of his  “unacceptable homophobic comments”.

Danish Development minister Ulla Tornaes said:

I am very concerned about the negative development in Tanzania. Most recently the totally unacceptable homophobic statements from a commissioner. I have therefore decided to withhold DKK 65m in the country. Respect for human rights is crucial for Denmark.

Denmark is Tanzania’s second biggest aid donor.

Tornaes has also postponed a planned trip to the east African country.

The government said at the time that Makonda was expressing his personal opinion, not government policy, yet the President John Magufuli is well-known for his anti-gay rhetoric. Last June Magufuli slammed human rights groups campaigning against homophobia in his country, saying that “even cows” disapprove of homosexuality.

President John Magufuli. Image via YouTube.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Tanzania and punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

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  • Cozmo the Magician

    Hmm, not sure I like the idea of denying aid to the people that need it because a bully took over their government. Granted I don’t know much about the international agreements in this case, but it seems like the wrong response. If there is anybody with more details or at least a link would be appreciated.

  • Bob Pattinson

    No wonder Africa lags behind the rest of Humanity.

  • Mefistofele

    Homophobia is rife in 3rd world Christian countries. The church acts as a moral support for communities that are poor, so naturally these attitudes proliferate. Aid needs to be specifically directed into programs controlled by the UN that address and counter these negative issues.


    “even cows” disapprove of homosexuality.”……really? How do we know? Do the Maasai bring their cattle into Arusha so they can DEMONSTRATE? Considering that Tanzania’s one of the poorest nations in Africa (if not the world,) this decision will be painful in its ramifications. Maybe their deity will shower them with food?

  • Jim Jones


  • Jim Jones

    Not sure I like the idea of supplying aid to a government run by a homophobic bully.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Well, if the aid is going directly to the government with no oversight then I agree. If it insead going to relief efforts that directly help PEOPLE it is a different story.

  • EastCoastJ

    Forget it Jake. It’s Africa.

  • EastCoastJ

    Better than in Muslim countries still.

  • EastCoastJ

    Especially because in countries like that the crux of the money donated often goes into the wallets of the rulers anyway.

  • Jim Jones

    Start with water wells. Then schools and health clinics.

    Hell, even a Rokon to a nurse or the like.

    Rokon builds 2-wheel-drive off-road motorcycles that can go anywhere.

  • kaydenpat

    South Africa was the first country to legalize same sex marriage so there’s no need to attack the entire continent. Plus, there is plenty of homophobia in Russia and other European countries and even here in the U.S. Look at Trump’s attacks on the transgender community.

  • Richard B

    This man needs to be publicly shamed in front of the whole world.