EU versus Tanzania: the cultural paradox

29.11.2018 - Leopoldo Salmaso

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EU versus Tanzania: the cultural paradox

The official declaration by Federica Mogherini, head of the EU diplomacy, is known.
The facts behind those statements are less clear.
The interpretation probably most close to the factual reality is offered by Ansbert Ngurumo in Sauti Kubwa, Nov 2, 2018:

“…TANZANIA President has ordered the Head of EU Delegation to Tanzania, Roeland van De Geer, to leave the country within 24 hours… Van de Geer has been a strong and steady critic of Tanzania’s repressive tendencies. The EU delegation, which he leads has consistently spoken out against actions amounting to gross violations of human rights and Tanzania’s international commitments… The ambassador has been a trusted ally of many critical dissenting voices of democratic actors in the country. It is an open secret that his office has hosted uncountable meetings with political actors, activists, journalists, religious leaders and even frustrated government officials”.

Paradoxically, the drop that broke the camel’s back was “the response by the EU missions on recent homophobic campaign orchestrated by the Dar es Salaam demagogic regional commissioner Paul Makonda”, from which the government had immediately disassociated with official note.
After that, even the ‘boisterous’ regional commissioner asked human-rights defenders and people from countries where homosexuality is legal, to “understand, that we as a nation have our own laws, Constitution and norms. In Dar es Salaam being gay is not a right, it is a criminal offence”.

Paradoxically, homophobia is the only subject on which all African populations agree and on which, in any case, Tanzania has so far kept a low profile, while in other countries such as neighbouring Uganda homosexuality is subject to death penalty.

Paradoxically, the West has no title to force entire populations and their leaders to sudden ‘cultural leaps’.

Paradoxically, in the highly advanced USA and EU, lawyers are engaged on a daily basis in asserting the civil rights of people who show a sexual orientation different from what is defined as ‘normal’ in the Gaussian distribution curve.

Paradoxically, the WHO has stopped classifying homosexuality as a disease only in the latest (11th) edition of its ICD (International Classification of Diseases), dated 18 June 2018.

 

 

This is the second article in a series on recent developments in Tanzania.
The first one can be foud here.
The third one can be foud here.

 

Categories: Africa, Culture and Media, Europe, Indigenous peoples, Nondiscrimination, Opinions
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