Police in a Tanzania province have one week to catch ‘every homosexual’, the governor says.
Paul Makonda, the governor of the economic capital Dar es Salaam, launched a violent and terrifying homophobic crackdown yesterday (29 October).
He is encouraging citizens to report gay people to the police.
Authorities will also be trawling for possible LGBTI people on social media.
He then warned anyone caught will be sent to prison for 30 years.
‘I have information about the presence of many homosexuals in our province,’ Makonda told reporters.
‘If you know of a homosexual, you must report them to a police officer. No one can escape.’
Makonda said homosexuals ‘boast on media and social networks’ about their ‘abnormal’ sexuality.
‘Give me their names,’ he also demanded. ‘My team will have them all by next Monday.’
Makonda added to reporters he had already received 100 names of LGBTI people.
The governor continued to say he was expecting an outraged response from progressive countries.
‘I prefer to anger those countries than to anger God,’ he then said.
Makonda said gay sex ‘tramples on the moral values of Tanzanians and our two Christian and Muslim religions’.
President John Magufuli, elected in 2015, has brought back an extreme homophobic rhetoric.
Last year the president said everybody should condemn homosexuality, ‘even cows‘.
Gay Star News spoke to a gay woman, from Tanzania, who wanted to stay anonymous.
‘These people don’t joke,’ she told us. ‘They mean business.
‘Before homosexuality used to be taboo. Gradually, you started to see them blending in. It was a non-issue.
‘With this president, it’s going back to the old days.’
She said she has heard of LGBTI people being bound, their heads forced into rubber tires, as they are burned to death.
‘[Magulufi] is using his power to control people. He’s a tyrant. You can easily disappear in Tanzania. I don’t want to risk it myself.’
AIDS clinics have also been shut down under Magafuli. He accused the clinics of being ‘hotbeds for homosexuality’.
In 2017, 13 activists and lawyers were jailed simply for trying to protect health initiatives against HIV.
Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu has also banned the sale of lube, insisting it encourages gay men to have sex.