The governor of Tanzania’s most populous city Dar es Salaam has ordered police to ‘catch every homosexual, and urged citizens to report LGBTI people to authorities.
Governor Paul Makonda has told media that he “has information about the presence of many homosexuals.”
“If you know of a homosexual, you must report them to a police officer. No one can escape,” Makonda said.
The governor is threatening those arrested under the crackdown with 30 years prison time.
According to Mr Makonda, the 17-member team would comprise of state officials from the Tanzania Communications Authority, the police and media practitioners.
They will search through social media for any indication that people may be same sex attracted. He also warned people to delete any naked photos on their mobile phones and promised strong measures against pornography.
Homosexuality is illegal in the East African nation, and anti-LGBTI sentiment is prevalent among leaders.
Last year, Tanzanian President John Magufuli called for all citizens to condemn homosexuality, while the health minister banned the sale of lubricant, saying it encouraged homosexual activity. In recent years a number of HIV clinics have been closed after they were accused of promoting homosexuality.
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