Update #3 ·

Update on March 03, 2013

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) banned and fined a Radio station for broadcasting a pro gay rights content during its breakfast program.

During the station's morning program known as 'Power Breakfast', a segment dubbed 'Jicho la Ng'ombe', featured reporting of Obama's inauguration and a positive mention of the prayer for inclusivity, which included LGBT people.

Regulators alleged that the station was aiming to have Tanzanians 'sensitised' to the ideas in order to 'copy' them.

TCRA fined the station 5 million Tanzanian Shilling (€ 2,350 US$ 3,087) to be paid within a one month period, over claims it provoked the breach of peace.

The watchdog also took the opportunity to issue serious warnings to presenters who would go against the laws and regulations of broadcasting.

Speaking to journalists in Dar es Salaam on 26th February, TCRA Content Committee deputy chairman Walter Bgoya cautioned  (http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=51712)that the regulators will not hesitate to revoke licenses of any radio station that will repeat the mistake of breaching the peace.

He said that licenses would be 'revoked for the benefit of the public'.

He said this was contrary to the laws governing content of programmes.

The 'Jicho la Ng'ombe' segment that featured in Power Breakfast programme was banned because it 'supported homosexual marriages' while knowing that there is no law supporting 'the practices' in Tanzania, the chairman said.

TCRA warned Clouds FM's management from establishing a similar segment in the programme saying by doing so they will be breaking the law and that stringent measures would be taken against them.

TCRA said every radio station was given a chance to defend itself but the content committee was not satisfied with their defense grounds and decided to punish them as per regulations.

Section 158 of Tanzania's penal code also forbids same-sex marriage with up to seven years imprisonment.

Responding to a 2011 statement by British prime minister David Cameron, that the UK may cut aid to countries persecuting LGBT people, Tanzania's foreign affairs minister, Bernard Membe, said: 'Tanzania will never accept Cameron's proposal because we have our own moral values. Homosexuality is not part of our culture and we will never legalise it...

'We are not ready to allow any rich nation to give us aid based on unacceptable conditions simply because we are poor.

'If we are denied aid by one country, it will not affect the economic status of this nation and we can do without UK aid'.

According to the 2007 Pew Global Attitudes Project, 95% of Tanzanian residents believe that homosexuality is a way of life that society should not accept, which was the seventh-highest rate of non-acceptance in the 45 countries surveyed. 

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Please don't criminalilze Tanzanian citizens simply because of who they love. LGBT people who make the decision to declare their sexual orientation face prejudice and discrimination from their family, friends, and also from wider society. The homophobia is already continuously causing extreme harm and disruption to people's lives, many LGBT people have become homeless as a result of being…

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