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Ramaphosa urged to help protect rights of Tanzania’s LGBTQIA+ community

Johannesburg Pride is calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene in Tanzania to protect the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community in the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Heads of Mission Conference in Pretoria. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Johannesburg Pride is calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene in Tanzania to protect the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community in the country.

In an open letter to Ramaphosa, the organisation outlined the case of ten men being arrested for conducting same-sex marriages in Zanzibar.

Same-sex marriages in Tanzania is currently illegal, with countries including Uganda, Senegal and Nigeria also prohibiting homosexuality.

Johannesburg Pride has applauded South Africa for welcoming the LGBTQIA+ community in the country.

“Johannesburg Pride urges the president to recognise the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community in the rest of Africa. We feel he [Ramaphosa] can provide that critical leadership that’s required to be a gamechanger,” Kaye Ally, a prominent activist in the LGBTQ+ community, says.

At the same time, a local non-governmental organisation, Triangle Project, has created a crisis fund for LGBTI people in Tanzania.

The organisation says that it is in contact with activists in that country after Dar es Salaam's governor, Paul Makonda, announced a serious anti-gay crackdown last month.

Makonda threatened to arrest all people suspected of being homosexual.

Additional reporting by Jarita Kassen.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)