The Deputy Health Minister of Tanzania says he is preparing to release a list of gay men’s names in an attempt to strengthen the nation’s anti-homosexuality laws.
MP Hamisi Kigwangalla revealed on Twitter that his government is looking into what he describes as a “homosexuality syndicate”, and will arrest men who are actively seeking sex online.
“I will publish a list of gay people selling their bodies online,” Dr Kigwangalla wrote.
“Those who think this campaign is a joke are wrong. The government has long arms and it will quietly arrest all those involved.”
The government minister also suggested those arrested will be used to find other gay men for prosecution.
Sex between men is illegal in Tanzania, with those engaging in MSM activity facing up to 30 years in prison.
Kigwangalla’s senior health minister Ummy Mwalimu was also responsible for the closure of many HIV/AIDS support clinics across the nation, accusing their presence of “promoting homosexuality.”
Kigwangalla and Mwalimu’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi government have also made moves to “curb homosexuality” with an embargo on the import and sale of lubricant.
The deputy health minister foreshadowed the online crackdown last year with a speech in Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam.
“If there’s a homosexual who has a Facebook account, or with an Instagram account, all those who follow him are just as guilty as the homosexual.”
Dr Kigwangalla’s ministerial portfolio also covers community development, gender and children.