NAIROBI, Nov 1 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Gay and transgender people in Tanzania have gone into hiding fearing for their lives after a senior government official called on the public to report suspected homosexuals so that they could be arrested from early next week.
Paul Makonda, regional commissioner for Tanzania’s main city of Dar es Salaam, announced the crackdown on Monday. He said a team would be set up to identify and arrest the “many homosexuals”, who could face up to 30 years in jail.
Makonda’s announcement has sparked panic and fear among thousands of LGBT+ people in the east African nation. Some said they were too scared to go outside during the day, while others had left their homes fearing imminent arrest.
“Since Monday, I have left my place and have been moving here and there. I am always looking over my shoulder in case they coming for me,” Nathan, 24, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Dar es Salaam.
“There’s so much tension within the gay community at the moment. Not just in Dar, but all over the country. We are really scared. We don’t know what to do and where to go.” Read more via Reuters