from ALLOYCE KIMBUNGA in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
DAR-ES-SALAAM – THE sanctions that the United States (US) government has slapped on a senior Tanzanian politician is the latest in a series of intimidatory tactics by Western nations to impose homosexuality on African countries.
Paul Makonda, a vocal critic against the practices of gays and lesbians, is now barred from entering the US for cumbersome allegations of “involvement in gross violations of human rights, which include the flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of persons.”
He is the Regional Commissioner for Dar es Salaam.
“In that role, he has also been implicated in oppression of the political opposition, crackdowns on freedom of expression and association and the targeting of marginalized individuals,” said Michael Pompeo, the US Secretary of State.
He announced the imposition of the sanction under the so-called 2020 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act.
Bizarrely, in addition to the public designation of Makonda, the Department also publicly designated his spouse, Mary Felix Massenge.
Analyst, Muhammad Onyango, stated, “Paul Makonda’s only problem was fighting homosexuality in Dar es Salaam and the US banned him and his immediate family from setting foot in there.”
Naveed Pakis, an advocate, accused the US of double standards in the sanctioning of the anti-gay Makonda.
“America always sells the product of freedom of speech but when somebody says something against their views, they banned them…not freedom of speech, it’s hypocrisy,” Pakis stated.
Like in many other African countries, homosexuality is outlawed in Tanzania.
Surveys have shown that a majority of Tanzanians are against the practice.
However, this week, an international human rights group appeared to encourage the practice claiming Tanzania’s health policies “deny adequate services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and others who are particularly vulnerable to HIV, jeopardising public health.”
Tanzania has previously been bullied for its stance against homosexuality.
In 2018, Denmark withheld 65 million krone ($9,8 million) in aid to the country in reaction to Makonda’s stance.
Also in the same year, the World Bank suspended all visiting missions to Tanzania over the issue.
The suspension was later lifted.
“Where is the notion of respecting other people’s values and cultures here?” analyst Jameel Asani asked rhetorically.
“This is a case of the West forcing Africans to support their values or be censored,” Asani said.
Tanzania is the latest country in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to be persecuted by the West for its stance against homosexuality.
Late last year, Zambia and the US fell out after the former sentenced two men for homosexuality.
US’ top envoy in Zambia threatened his country would cut aid.
It highlighted America’s longstanding interference by its envoys in their host countries’ domestic affairs.
– CAJ News