Wednesday , November 25 2020

Tanzania's LGBT + men fear for their lives as retribution

Tanzanian hot and transgender people hid away after a senior government official called on the public to report suspicious homosexuals. File image: Brian Snyder / Reuters

Nairobi – Tanzanian gay and transgender people have put their lives down after a senior government official called on the public to signal suspected homosexuals to arrest them early next week.

Paul Makonda, Regional Commissioner of the Tanzania's Dar es Salaam capital announced on Monday to stall. He said a team would be set up to identify and arrest "many homosexuals" who may face up to 30 years in jail.

Makonda's announcement caused panic and fear among thousands of people living in the East African nation LGBT +. Some said they were too afraid to go out during the day, while others were afraid of upcoming arrests.

"From Monday I left my seat and moved it all the way and I always look to my shoulders if they come to me," says Nathan, the phone from the Thomson Reuters Foundation in Dar es Salaam.

"There is so much tension in this gay community, not just in Denmark, but across the country, I'm afraid we do not know what to do and where to go.

Gay sex in Tanzania is illegal, but the law is rarely used. Homophobia and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT +) attacks and arrests, however, have increased since President John Magufuli chose activists in 2015.

Despite the bouncing on Monday, Nathan said the houses were already sued in the harbor town and the hot people were arrested. The Thomson Reuters Foundation could not immediately confirm this.


In African countries, homosexuality is the most prohibited colonial age in the world. Relations between same sexes are a taboo and a crime in most parts of the continent, ranging from jail to jail.

As a result, the persecution, discrimination and exploitation of African sexual minorities have been devoured, say campaigns.

They are routinely abused, blackmailed, robbed, raped by police or vigilance. Many people can not work because of their sexual identity – forcing them to have sex through social media sites.

Tanzania was renowned for being more tolerant than its neighbor Uganda, but since Magufuli has been in power for three years, the campaigns say that small defense, representation and freedom for LGBT + people slowly eradicated.

NGOs supporting hot people have ceased and activists have been arrested. The authorities have also suspended HIV / AIDS prevention programs for gay men.

Last June, Magufuli said "even cows" refuse homosexuality.


Makonda said in a press conference on Tuesday that he had received more than 5,700 messages from the public – with more than 100 suspects in the homosexual name.

The 17-member committee was also set up – he said – to identify hot people on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and arrest them.

Equality Campaign Now, you said you were shocked and worried about retaliation – which is also targeted at sex workers. He called on the federal government to condemn Makonda's statement and adopt laws and policies that would protect everyone.

"LGBT and prostitution are often vulnerable and involve more violence and inequality," said Tsitsi Matekaire, Equality Now.

"Their detention maintains this inequality, which results in further marginalization and harm to their well-being."

LGBT people in Tanzania say foreign donors have to put pressure on the government to stop the anti-homosexual campaign.

The former retaliation of the LGBT community in 2016 has been abandoned by the authorities, because of the wide-ranging condemnation of the international community.

The United Nations has also been called upon to protect them by ensuring their security in another country.

"I did not leave my house during the day in the last four days, scared to death," Michael called 19-year-old sex worker from the northeastern town of Arusha.

"We have no one to defend us, we ask the United Nations and other countries to help us go elsewhere, where we do not have to be afraid."

Thomson Reuters Foundation

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