Tanzania: Campaign Against HIV/Aids – Zanzibar Turns On Lesbians and Gays

Published: December 5, 2012

ALTHOUGH there is no open lesbians and gay community in Zanzibar, authorities and health officials are worried that homosexual acts are promoting the spread of HIV in the islands.

Zanzibar outlawed homosexuality in 2004, and the law provides for jail terms of up to 25 years for men engaged in homosexual relationships and up to seven year’s prison for lesbians.

The Zanzibar Penal Code of 1934, as amended in 2004, provides as follows: any person who carnally knows any boy is guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for life (Section 132). Any person who attempts to have carnal knowledge of any boy is guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term not less than twentyfive years.

Any person who: has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature; is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in section 150 is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years. Any person who unlawfully and indecently assaults a boy is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for a term not less than twenty-five years.

Any woman who commits an act of lesbianism with another woman whether taking an active or passive role shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand shillings.

Any person who: (a) enter[s] or arrange[s] a union whether amounting to marriage or not of the person of the same sex; (b) celebrate[s] a union with another person of the same sex whether amounting to marriage or not; [or] (c) lives as husband and wife [with] another person of the same sex; shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.

Zanzibar is predominantly a Muslim country and in Islam homosexuality is strictly prohibited and this sort of thing is not acceptable in Zanzibar, but it is thought that there is an increase in what he called "homosexual behaviour" in Zanzibar.

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