“The law in Tanzania has boundaries when it comes to sexuality” says Hamisi Kigwangalla.
Hamisi Kigwangalla, the deputy health minister for Tanzania, wants to publish the names of men and women suspected of being homosexuals.
In a series of angry tweets written in Swahili and English, he argued that homosexuality did not scientifically exist, and was merely a side effect of city life. In the rural village he came from, Kigwangalla insisted, there were no homosexuals.
Uliishakutana na mbuzi ama ndege walio homosexual? Homosexuality is not biological, it is unnatural. I wonder even kuna watu wanatetea! ?? https://t.co/n7t93Ho7cN
— Dr. Kigwangalla, H. (@HKigwangalla) February 19, 2017
”Have you ever come across a gay goat or bird?” tweeted the 42-year-old doctor. (Yep, he’s a medical doctor.) “Homosexuality is not biological. It is unnatural.”
Of course homosexual behavior has been recorded in hundreds of species, including birds.
Opponents have accused the minister of homophobia and suppressing freedom of expression. “Your move will only fuel more hatred, violence and increased mob lynchings,” tweeted one respondent.
Warning that sex workers and users of gay dating sites would be targeted, Kigwangalla replied that his campaign ”fulfills my duty as head administrator of the rules and policies of our country!”
Tweeter: “Freedom of choice, freedom of expression and right to privacy are constitutional justifiable rights. May God change your heart”
Kigwangalla: “Freedoms/rights have boundaries and both are protected by law! The law in Tanzania has boundaries when it comes to sexuality”
Tweeter: “It seems politics has made you forget the basics of science. Homosexuality is partly a result of biogenetics”
Kigwangalla: “There is no literature to suggest so. Homosexuality has no any scientific backing! I am a scientist and I read a lot than you think.”
Homosexuality is against the law in Tanzania—those found guilty of same-sex relations face up to 30 years in jail.
Earlier this year, the Health Ministry closed HIV/AIDS outreach clinics in the East African nation, claiming NGOs were using them to promote gay sex. Kigwangalla also ordered three men to report to the police for “spreading” homosexual activity on social media.
His superior, Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu, banned the sale of lube, insisting unrestricted access to lubricant encouraged gay men to have sex.