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Tanzania governor who created task force to hunt gay people banned from entering US

Lily Wakefield February 2, 2020
Paul Makonda tanzania

Makonda has been Dar es Salaam's governor since 2016. (paul makonda/facebook)

A high-ranking official in Tanzania who created a task force to hunt down gay people has been banned from entering the US.

Paul Makonda is the governor of Tanzania’s most-populated city, Dar es Salaam, and he created the team to round up gay people in 2018.

He said he aimed to make Dar es Salaam a “non-gay city”, and added: “In our region, we do not need broken-down moral values that will affect the next generation.

“In Dar es Salaam, homosexuality is not a human right; homosexuality is a criminal offence.”

Makonda also said that when people are captured by his team in the city, they will be subjected to anal tests by doctors to assess whether they are gay. Forensic experts dispute these tests as unscientific.

If found guilty of being “homosexual” or having gay sex, LGBT+ people face life imprisonment in Tanzania.

Now, two years after Makonda began hunting gay people, the US State Department have announced that he and his immediate family members are banned from entering the United States “due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights, which include the flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of persons”.

It added: “He has also been implicated in oppression of the political opposition, crackdowns on freedom of expression and association, and the targeting of marginalized individuals.

“The United States remains deeply concerned over deteriorating respect for human rights and rule of law in Tanzania.”

In 2018, the country lost $10 million worth of aid money from Denmark as a consequence of its anti-gay crackdown.

But Makonda previously said he was anticipating backlash from people who lived outside Tanzania, and said that he would “prefer to anger those countries than to anger God”.

He has also been putting LGBT+ and non-LGBT+ people in Tanzania at greater risk of contracting HIV.

In 2016, the year he came to power, the country’s government HIV outreach programme was suspended because “homosexuality was illegal”.

In 2017, Tanzania stopped private health clinics from providing HIV services, saying they “cater to homosexuals”.

More: Africa, Christian, Homosexuality, Muslim, paul makonda, prison, Tanzania, us state department

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