Tanzania Governor launches ‘anti-gay’ force- Surveillance squad
A Tanzanian governor has announced the creation of a surveillance squad dedicated to hunting down gay people.
Paul Makonda, governor of the economic capital Dar es Salaam, told reporters round-ups would begin next week.
The team will scrutinise social media in order to track down and arrest people in same sex couples, he added.
Homosexual acts are illegal in Tanzania, where anti-gay rhetoric has been on the rise since President John Magufuli’s election in 2015.
Many gay, lesbian and transgender people are forced to hide their sexuality as a result.
Last year, the country’s deputy health minister defended a threat to publish a list of gay people.
Mr Makonda – a staunch ally of the president – said he expected international criticism for the move, but added: “I prefer to anger those countries than to anger God.”
“Give me their names,” Mr Makonda was quoted as saying by AFP news agency. “My ad hoc team will begin to get their hands on them next Monday.”
According to Mr Makonda, the 17-member team would comprise of state officials from the Tanzania Communications Authority, the police and media practitioners.
He also warned people to delete any naked photos on their mobile phones and promised strong measures against pornography.
Meanwhile, HIV clinics have also been forced to close after being accused of promoting homosexuality.