In Tanzania, homosexual acts are illegal. Those who are convicted of such acts can face up to 30 years in jail. Now a politician has warned that those who advertise homosexual activities on the internet would be targeted, too.
Twitter users have accused the politician of homophobia and infringing on the right to freedom of expression on the internet. However, Hamisi Kigwangalla believes that homosexuality is a social construct and that it does not scientifically exist. He also asked Twitter users if they've ever come across a gay bird or goat, and added that homosexuality was not natural.
The politician, who is also a medical doctor, said homosexuality is associated with an urban lifestyle. He proceeded to say that he was from a small town in central Tanzania. He said there were no homosexuals there.
List of suspected homosexuals may be published
Kigwangalla also said on Twitter that the government would investigate homosexuality syndicate. He said those who are involved in the gay sex business would be arrested and punished. The announcement comes just days after a number of Aids clinics were shut down. The clinics were accused of promoting homosexuality.
Those who are allegedly selling sex online could be put on a list. The list could then go public. Kigwangalla said he will #Publish a list of gay people who sell their bodies online and that the campaign was not a joke. He said the Tanzanian government has long arms and they will arrest everyone who is involved.
Penalties are harsh
Under Tanzanian law, two males who have sex with one another can be punished to up to life in prison.
They could be sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in jail. However, lesbian relations are not banned.
Politicians in neighboring Uganda were not focusing much on homosexuals. However, that changed recently as the government has increased its anti-gay rhetoric. Men who are suspected of being gay have been detained and brought to hospitals, where and had to undergo anal tests to find out if they are gay.