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Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu weighs in on LGBTQ debate

Tanzanian President Mama Samia Suluhu Hassan has finally shared her stance on the highly debated topic of homosexuality.

According to Ms Suluhu, “grown-up people are at liberty to exercise their bodies but should not engage children.”

While she did not explicitly announce if Tanzania supports or opposes homosexuality, she believes East Africa is at a crossroads due to the influence of Western culture.

As Ms Suluhu stated in a video message, “Everyone is at liberty of his or her body…But I plead with the ones in it, to stop cheating our kids. Why are you not going to your fellow masculine counterparts? Stop this thing. Our children should not be spoiled.”

She firmly believes that adults should not engage in such activities with children as it would only serve to harm them.

President Suluhu’s primary concern is the impact such practices would have on the country’s future economic growth.

Also read: Ugandan media houses that air LGBTQ content will risk revocation of licenses

She stated, “This country (Tanzania) needs a future labor force for it to develop more economically. If all our kids are recruited into the bad borrowed culture, who will take this nation forward? Women alone? That is not possible.”

She is worried that the LGBTQ movement could negatively impact the country’s population and therefore hinder its growth.

Ms Suluhu’s statement comes at a time when other East African countries, such as Kenya and Uganda, are grappling with similar issues.

Kenyan President William Ruto and his deputy Mr Rigathi Gachagua have both expressed their opposition to same-sex marriage, with churches also joining the fight against it.

In Kenya, Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma even drafted a bill to criminalize homosexuality with severe punishments, including life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Meanwhile, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is yet to sign/assent to a bill that the Uganda parliament passed that criminalizes homosexuality with tough measures for those found guilty.

Also read: Rachel Ruto asks Kenyans to pray against spread of LGBTQ