Comments on recent crackdown in Tanzania


 
 

In an op-ed in Bistandsaktuelt, Lise Rakner comments on the recent crackdown on the rights of LGBT people and their advocates in Tanzania.

 
 
Photo: Gado

Photo: Gado

 
 
 

In an op-ed in Bistandsaktuelt, Lise Rakner comments on the recent crackdown on the rights of LGBT people and their advocates in Tanzania.

Under the heading “The dictators handbook: The chapter on Tanzania” she argues that the politicization LGBT people in Tanzania is illustrative of the wider democratic backlash witnessed  in Tanzania since the 2015. The state repression of homosexuality has been accompanied other attacks on democracy by the Magafuli government: The government has introduced legal measures undermining freedom of information and organization, judicial and parliamentary independence, introduced a partial ban on public rallies, harassed MPs, implemented a closure on media freedom, freedom of expression and online political space, and shown a distinct willingness to exploit the use of gender and identity rights for political purposes.

Developments in Tanzania since 2015 point to a familiar pattern of politicizing LGBT rights in context of overall democratic backlash. Rakner argues in the op-ed that the closing space must be seen as a part of a larger crises of legitimacy within CCM, as long-standing contradictions in the developmental outcomes of their policy have started to take their toll on long-established links with key constituencies within Tanzanian society.