Tanzania dismisses US advisory on safety of tourists as cheap propaganda

Tanzania says its country is safe as it dismisses the travel advisory issued by the United States of America to Americans. It termed the action malicious.

According to Tanzania’s spokesman, Hassan Abbas, the advisory for US citizens to exercise increased caution in Tanzania due to crime, terrorism, and the targeting of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons is cheap propaganda that is not reflective of the real situation in Tanzania.

“Nobody should waste time on this. Tanzania received thousands of tourists this festive season and all of them are peacefully enjoying themselves here. Not one of them has lost even a pen, and  I believe that whoever issued the alert cannot find Tanzania on the map,” Abbas stated.

On 26 December, the US government issued a basic safety warning to its citizens, especially during this festive season; admonishing them to always carry a copy of their passport and visa and keep original documents in a secure location, be vigilant, avoid public displays of affection particularly between same-sex couples, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate each citizen in case of an emergency, as well as not to leave any drink unattended.

This is not the first of such warnings by the United States. In November 2018, the US embassy in Tanzania advised Americans to review their social media profiles and internet footprints, following Paul Makonda, regional commissioner for Dar es Salaam’s, statement to seek, identify and punish gay people, sex workers and online fraudsters in the country.

Although the foreign ministry said Makonda was voicing his own opinion and the planned crackdown did not have national government support, Makonda stated that he had already received 5,763 messages from the public, with more than 100 names.

“The government of the United Republic of Tanzania would like to clarify that those are his own views and not the government position,” the government had then said but one can never underestimate the power of  a man to start an uprising.

Even Americans are yet to fully accept the LGBT people. A survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of LGBT media advocacy group GLAAD, the accelerating acceptance 2018, show a drop in acceptance of LGBTQ people.