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Tanzania launches anti-gay surveillance squad

Tanzanian authorities are set to track and arrest gay people after Dar es Salaam governor announced the creation of a surveillance squad whose job will be to identify gays on social media and arrest them.

Any gay person in Tanzania may face at least 30 years in prison.

Paul Makonda, governor of Dar es Salaam, issued the directive in a news conference on Monday.

According to BBC, The 17-member squad will comb for same-sex couples on social media.

Mr Makonda said; “These homosexuals boast on social networks. Give me their names.”

“My ad-hoc team will begin to get their hands on them next Monday.”


The squad’s mandate will be to scrutinise social media platforms to identify people who engage in same sex relationships.

Mr Makonda also appealed to city residents to delete any nude pictures from their phones, warning that strict measures would be taken against pornography.

He warned human rights groups that homosexuality was illegal in Tanzania.

Male homosexuality has long been considered a moral taboo to be punished harshly.

Tanzania is one of 37 Commonwealth member-states that continue to uphold colonial sodomy laws, while others, such as South Africa, India and Belize, have overturned them.


There is no law prohibiting homosexuality in Tanzania, although sodomy is a criminal offence punishable by life imprisonment.


Public rhetoric against homosexuality has been on the rise in the country since President John Magufuli’s election in 2015.

Several medical clinics accused of promoting homosexuality have been shut down mostly in Dar es Salam, forcing members of the LGBT community to live in secrecy.

This latest development comes amid a crackdown on Tanzanian LGBTQ communities and their supporters since the election of President John Magufuli in 2015, nicknamed “the Bulldozer” for his strict policy agenda.