The regional governor of Tanzania's
largest city, Dar es Salaam, has asked the public to help identify
people suspected of being gay as part of a crackdown against the LGBT
“I have received reports that there
are so many homosexual in our city, and these homosexuals are
advertising and selling their services on the Internet,” Paul
Makonda told reporters during a news conference.
“Therefore, I am announcing this to
every citizen of Dar es Salaam. If you know any gays … report them
to me,” he said.
Makonda said that mass arrests of LGBT
people will begin on Monday and that a 17-member committee will be
established to identify people who are gay on social media and arrest
According to The Guardian,
Makonda said that in one day he received nearly 6,000 messages from
the public with the names of more than 100 gay people.
Geofrey Mashala, a Tanzanian LGBT
activist now living in California, said that mobs of people routinely
attack men suspected of being gay.
“People have become very powerful to
attack people,” Mashala
said. “If you are on the bus or walk on the street and maybe
two or three guys start to shout: 'Hey, he's gay, he's a gay.'
Suddenly, 10 people can join these two people, or 20 people, and
start attacking you on the street.”
“You cannot do anything. You cannot
go to the police. You cannot ask people to help you,” he added.
Another prominent LGBT activist said
that police encourage violence against the LGBT community.
“They take you to custody and tell
other men: 'This one is gay, you can do anal sex with them because he
enjoys it in the streets,'” the unnamed activist said.
Gay sex is illegal in Tanzania, where
violators face up to 30 years in jail.
president says cows disapprove of homosexuality.)