Paul Makonda, a regional commissioner in the Tanzanian capital, has announced the creation of a 17-member committee and surveillance operation dedicated to tracking down homosexuals, which is set to start this week.
Makonda went on to say that people should delete pornography from their phones and report homosexuals for arrest.
“These homosexuals brag about it on social networks. From today (Monday) to Sunday, give me their names,” he said, adding that homosexuality, “tramples on the moral values of Tanzanians and our two religions, Christianity and Islam.”
The Makonda committee includes police officers, psychologists members of the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority and the Tanzania Film Board.
However, the country’s government is distancing itself from Makonda’s comments.
In a joint statement on Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the East African Cooperation Ministry said that Makonda was “only airing his personal opinion which does not represent the official position of the United Republic of Tanzania.”
The statement also said Tanzania will uphold all international human rights treaties it has signed.
However, homosexual acts are illegal in Tanzania and gay male sex carries a minimum sentence of 30 years to life in prison.
Sources: Africa News, The Citizen (Tanzania)