Tanzania: books contrary to “moral standards” banned from schools

The Tanzanian government has banned several children’s books on sex education from schools, accusing them of violating the “cultural and moral norms” of this East African country where homosexuality is criminalized.
“We are banning these books from schools and other educational facilities because they are contrary to cultural and moral standards,” Education Minister Adolf Mkenda told reporters in the capital Dodoma.
Among the books banned are the “Diary of a Wimp: Greg Heffley’s Logbook”, a series of American illustrated books that have sold millions of copies worldwide.
The government did not specify why it was targeting this “diary” featuring a teenager, but it assured that inspections were being conducted in public and private school libraries to ensure that it had been removed.
The minister also included in this first list of “unacceptable” books a textbook on sexuality education and books mentioning LGBTQ people.
Last week, head of state Samia Suluhu Hassan called on student leaders to be wary of “imported cultures” from abroad. “If you are Tanzanian, live according to our culture,” she told them. In Tanzania, homosexuality is punishable by a minimum sentence of 30 years to life imprisonment.