The Tanzanian government distanced itself today from Dar es Salaam governor Paul Makonda and his plans for an anti-gay roundup starting tomorrow (Monday, Nov. 5).
In a public statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the anti-gay proclamations by Makonda, the government’s regional director in Dar es Salaam, are his personal opinion.
The ministry said its statement was made “on behalf of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania.”
It said Tanzania will continue to abide by the Tanzanian constitution and to respect human rights treaties that it has signed.
Makonda on Oct. 29 urged citizens to report the names of homosexuals living in Dar es Salaam. He said that his anti-gay “ad hoc team” would “get their hands on them next Monday [Nov. 5].”
Later last week, Makonda said he had received 5,763 messages from the public, who reported the names of more than 100 alleged gays.
He outlined plans for adopting a police-state technique — surveillance of personal communications — along with anal testing of suspects aimed at creating “a non-gay city.”
[Contrary to actual Tanzanian law, Makonda alleges that homosexuality (not just homosexual activity) is a crime. “In Dar es Salaam, homosexuality is not a human right; homosexuality is a criminal offence,” he said.]
It was clear in the foreign affairs ministry’s statement that Makonda’s hunt for homosexuals is not government-sanctioned, but it remains unclear what effect, if any, that statement will have on Makonda’s plans for a gay round-up on Monday.
The Tanzanian publication The Citizen published two versions of an article about the statement.
The ministry’s statement is below (translated here from Swahili):
The East African Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation on behalf of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, wishes to inform the people and the international community through local and international media on homosexual issues addressed by Hon. Dar es Salaam Regional Director recently.
At his meeting with the media, Hon. The Regional Director announced a campaign to deal with homosexual acts in the city of Dar es Salaam.
The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania would like to clarify that, that is its opinion and not the position of the Government.
In addition, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania would like to use this opportunity to remind and insist that it will continue to respect all international agreements on human rights that have signed and ratified. The Union of Tanzania continues and will continue to respect and protect such rights as contained in the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania.
- Tanzania plans anti-gay police state, not without opposition (
- Tanzania governor wants to rid Dar es Salaam of every gay person (November 2018, Pink News)
- Thousands ‘living in fear’ after Tanzania calls on public to report gay people (October 2018, The Guardian)
- Tanzania: Anti-gay crackdown in Dar es Salaam (October 2018, BBC)
- Tanzania hunts homosexuals, threatens ’round-up’ (
- Donors take aim at Tanzania’s ban on LGBTI health care (January 2018, 76crimes.com)
- Tanzania deports 3 anti-AIDS lawyers for ‘promoting homosexuality’ (October 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Protests surge as Tanzania jails anti-HIV lawyers; no charges (October 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Tanzania cries ‘homosexuality’ to block health-care lawsuit (October 2017, 76crimes.com)
- In Tanzania, 13 people attending a meeting are arrested for allegedly promoting homosexuality; operations of a Global Fund SR are suspended (October 2017, Aidspan)
- CHESA AND ISLA Speak Out on the Unlawful Arrests in Tanzania (October 2017, Kuchu Times)
- Tanzania: 12 arrests for allegedly ‘promoting homosexuality’ (October 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Tanzanian AIDS event disrupted by arrest of 20 ‘gay’ suspects (September 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Tanzania threatens to arrest all gay rights activists (June 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Teen posted on Instagram and the next thing he knew, a doctor was invading his body (June 2017, The East African)
- LGBT sex worker on Tanzania crackdown: I’m afraid (May 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Inside Tanzania’s AIDS-enhancing anti-LGBT crackdown (April 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Global Fund-supported programs suspended amid Tanzanian government crackdown on LGBT community (March 2017, Aidspan)
- Tanzania ramps up anti-gay panic, risks HIV expansion (February 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Homophobia Explodes In Tanzania, Health Minister Threatens ‘Gay List’ (February 2017, The Advocate)
- Tanzania: U.S Warns Govt Ban May Stall HIV Fight (February 2017, AllAfrica/The Citizen)
- Tanzanian official seeks 3 arrests in ongoing crackdown (February 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Tanzania’s anti-gay effort raises risk of HIV rebound (November 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Tanzania’s anti-gay crackdown now targets AIDS programs (November 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Seeking to limit gay sex, Tanzania bans lubricants (July 2016, 76crimes.com)