Tanzania forms surveillance squad to identify gays on social media and arrest them

accreditation
iStock
iStock

Tanzanian authorities have reportedly formed a surveillance squad whose job will be to identify gays on social media and arrest them.

A BBC report quoted regional commissioner for the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, Paul Makonda, as saying that the 17-member team would include state officials from the Tanzania Communications Authority, the police and media practitioners.

The team's main objective would be to monitor social media platforms to find people who engage  in same sex relationships.

Makonda urged  citizens to delete any nude pictures from their phones, warning that strict measures would be taken against pornography, said the report.

This came just a day after Makonda urged citizens to begin reporting homosexuals for round-ups to begin next week, according to AFP.

'Give me their names'

Under British colonial-era laws, homosexuality was illegal in Tanzania, with same-sex acts between men punishable by a maximum life sentence.

"These homosexuals boast on social networks," said Makonda, a fervent Christian and loyal ally of President John Magufuli was quoted as saying by AFP.

"Give me their names," he demanded. "My ad hoc team will begin to get their hands on them next Monday."

Makonda said he expected criticism from outsiders for his hardline stance but added: "I prefer to anger those countries than to anger God."

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When and why would you have your or your partner's sperm count checked?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
That's an unnecessary procedure
16% - 820 votes
As soon as we decide to start a family
7% - 372 votes
Only if we're struggling to conceive
76% - 3800 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.14
-0.8%
Rand - Pound
19.68
-0.3%
Rand - Euro
16.82
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.67
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-1.2%
Gold
1,773.73
-2.1%
Silver
25.98
-3.7%
Palladium
2,510.00
-10.6%
Platinum
1,070.00
-4.5%
Brent Crude
74.39
+0.5%
Top 40
60,400
-1.1%
All Share
66,586
-1.1%
Resource 10
61,985
-3.3%
Industrial 25
89,075
+0.9%
Financial 15
13,266
-2.4%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo