What’s going on in Tanzania
With a population of around 55 million, Tanzania is one of the economic powerhouses of East Africa but remains a socially conservative country.
The Tanzanian penal code makes it illegal for there to be sexual conduct between men - offenders are punished with prison terms up to twenty years.
Anti-gay rhetoric has been on the rise in Tanzania since President John Magufuli’s election in 2015. However, in a disturbing development, there are strong indications that things are about to get a lot worse for LGBTQ people in Tanzania.
According to the BBC, Paul Makonda - the Governor of the country’s largest city, Dar es Salaam - has announced the creation of a surveillance squad dedicated to hunting down LGBTQ people. The team will scrutinise social media in order to track down and arrest gay men.
The BBC also reports that HIV clinics in Tanzania have been forced to close after being accused of promoting homosexuality.