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Tanzanian City to Begin Anti-LGBTQ Witch Hunt

Man behind bars

The governor of Tanzania's economic capital, Dar es Salaam, calls for the roundup and arrest of LGBTQ people.

As of next week, Gov. Paul Makonda of Tanzania's economic capital, Dar es Salaam, wants citizens to call in and report "homosexual behavior" so LGBTQ people can be arrested and hit with critiminal charges, reports Agence France-Presse.

"I have information about the presence of many homosexuals in our province," Makonda told reporters Monday, according to the news service. "These homosexuals boast on social networks." He called for citizens to provide the names of these people, saying, "My ad hoc team will begin to get their hands on them next Monday."

Under a law dating from when Tanzania was a British colony, sexual acts between men carry a maximum sentance of life in prison.

Even though antigay rhetoric has been abundant in Tanzania for some time, it has ramped up since the 2015 election of noted homophobe John Magufuli as president; he once said that even cows condemn gay sex.

Under Magufuli, three South Africans were expelled from Tanzania for supposedly advocating for same-sex marriage, and many AIDS clinics have been shut down, AFP reports.

Makonda acknowledged his antigay crackdown will be controversial internationally: "I prefer to anger those countries than to anger God," he told reporters, saying homosexuality "tramples on the moral values of Tanzanians and our two Christian and Muslim religions."

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