Why does Tanzania hunt gay people

State homophobia in Tanzania | Governor opened
Hunting gays

Paul Makonda (36), governor of Tanzania's most populous city, Dar es Salaam, starts a hunt for homosexuals. A newly formed special unit has a week to “collect every gay person”.

He urged the city's more than four million residents to report homosexuals or “suspected homosexuals”: ​​“I have information about the presence of many homosexuals in our province. Just give me their names. My ad hoc team will get their hands on it by next Monday, ”he told reporters.

A 17-member committee is to investigate the evidence of homosexual acts. According to media reports, the new special unit also consists of doctors and police officers and is based at the Tanzanian communications authority, which also pursues pornography.

The committee is due to start its work on November 5th and arrest gays in the province by means of targeted raids. Under British colonial law, homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania - same-sex acts between men are punishable by imprisonment. The governor believes that gay sex "tramples the moral values ​​of Tanzanians and our two Christian and Muslim religions".

“Nobody is allowed to escape

“If you know about a gay person, you have to report him to a police officer. Nobody is allowed to escape ”, Makonda explained to the population. According to media reports, he has so far received almost 19,000 names from such reports. He stated that he had collected several hundred names from it on his "gay list".

While expecting global backlash, he also stated that he would prefer "to anger these countries rather than anger God".

The arch-conservative Christian Makonda and loyal ally of President John Magufuli (59) also wants to use social networks to track down homosexuals: "These gays boast on social networks," he explains.

Treatment of HIV patients discontinued

As early as 2017, Tanzania's hospitals had to stop treating HIV-infected people because they “care for homosexuality”. The few AIDS clinics were also closed under President Magufuli. He accused the clinics of being "breeding grounds for homosexuality". Human rights activists report that more than 33,000 people have died of AIDS as a result. Many of them - including lawyers - have been imprisoned for protecting HIV health initiatives. Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu banned the sale of lubricants as "it would encourage gay men to have sex".

“You're not joking - they mean it

President John Magufuli, elected in 2015, is considered deeply homophobic. Last year he said that "everyone should condemn homosexuality - even cows". The LGBT platform "Gay Star News" spoke to a lesbian woman from Tanzania who would rather remain anonymous: "These people are not joking," she says: "They are serious!" She tells of gays who were handcuffed and whose heads were forced into rubber tires and then burned: “Magufuli uses his power to control people. He's a tyrant. "As a homosexual person, it is easy to disappear in Tanzania, she says:" I would rather not risk it. "

According to official reports, police officers arrested dozens of men in Dar es Salaam last year, accusing them of “promoting homosexuality” and “engaging in gay sex”. In a police raid in Tanzania's semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar, at least 20 people were arrested for “homosexual activities”.

Homosexual acts among men are illegal in the East African state. According to a law from 2002, prison sentences of up to 30 years are possible. Lesbian sex is allowed in most regions, only in Zanzibar there is a prison sentence of up to seven years. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, LGBT people are persecuted, mistreated and humiliated in Tanzania. The former German and later British colony, Tanzania, with over 50 million inhabitants, is one of the poorest countries in the world today. In terms of economic output, the East African country is still behind countries like Zimbabwe and Haiti.

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