Authorities in Tanzania are looking to technology to help them carry out their business. Unfortunately, business for the courts in Tanzania means locking gays up for at least 30 years in prison. The government announced the creation of an anti-gay surveillance squad that will utilize social media to help track down gays.
The new Tanzanian hit-squad is composed of 17 people who will scour social media for signs of same-sex couples and forced anal examinations are still practiced. It's not clear what fuels the avid homophobia of the government but they are cracking down like never before.
Paul Makonda is the governor of the country's largest city Dar es Salaam and he personally issued the new directive. Makonda announced the news of the creation of the anti-gay squad in a conference on Monday. The 17-man squad will be working to seek out gay couples on social media. Makonda was quoted as saying "these homosexuals boast on social networks."
Related coverage: <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/13915-Tanzania-Pardoned-Two-Child-Rapists-But-Called-For-Arrest-Of-Pregnant-Teens">Tanzania Pardoned Two Child Rapists But Called For Arrest Of Pregnant Teens</a>
"Give me their names," Makonda said. "My ad-hoc team will begin to get their hands on them next Monday." That doesn't sound like a very fun place to be, what if someone tags you in some gay porn even if you aren't gay and it shows up in your news feed? The nation governs itself with colonial statues and seeks to defend "moral values".
Tanzania has considered male homosexuality as a moral taboo and has punished it severely for a long time. The British colonial-era statues were first brought into existence in the 19th century and the country still upholds them to this day. Provisions outlined in the Tanzania Penal Code of 1945 states that any person who "has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature" could be punished with life imprisonment or at least 30 years.
Tanzania is just one of 37 Commonwealth member-states that still uphold the colonial sodomy laws. Other members of the Commonwealth member-states such as South Africa, India and Belize have all done away with the archaic statutes. British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke of the "deep regrets" over Britain's anti-gay colonial legacy and said, "Nobody should face discrimination and persecution because of who they are or who they love."
Related coverage: <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/27868-Tanzanian-Conjoined-Twins-Pass-Away-At-21">Tanzanian Conjoined Twins Pass Away At 21</a>
Prime Minister May added, "The UK stands ready to support any Commonwealth nation wanting to reform outdated legislation that makes such discrimination possible." The Tanzanian government has not been interested in changing its own statues despite the international condemnation. In 2017, Home Affairs Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said that "those who want to campaign for gay rights should find another country that allows those things".
The creation of the social media hit-squad for gays is the latest action taken by the government to crack down on the Tanzanian LGBTQ community. Since the election of President John Magufuli in 2015, the country's western partners have given him a nod of support for his corruption purges but his rigid morality policing has gone unchanged. President Magufuli has even been nicknamed "The Bulldozer" for his stubborn adherence to the old laws.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/07b7f7bb2f63222dc3fec23e9680409d17d66960e580915a2b6b4fc09fa6efd4.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Sadi Said</span>
Tanzania shut down 40 HIV testing and treatment centers simply for the fact they helped men who had sex with men. Those who needed to seek treatment for HIV or AIDS would now have to go to public health facilities and face forced anal examinations. One victim of this procedure told Buzzfeed News he felt like he had "gone somewhere and gotten raped" after the exam.
Tips? Info? Send me a message!