Tanzania announced plans on Saturday to publish a list of gay people allegedly selling sex online. This comes just days after the government shut down dozens of AIDS clinics accused of promoting homosexuality.
Deputy Health Minister Hamisi Kigwangalla wrote on Twitter that his government was investigating “the homosexuality syndicate" and would arrest and prosecute those involved in the gay sex business.
Under the Tanzanian penal code, sex between two males is highly punishable, ranging from 30 years to life imprisonment. There is, however, no such ban on lesbian relations.
Compared to its neighbor Uganda, Tanzanian politicians had not been focusing much on the gay community, until the recent increase of anti-gay rhetoric by the government.
Men suspected of being gay have been detained and taken to the hospitals for an anal test to find out if they are homosexuals. On Thursday, the government announced it was stopping many private health centers from providing AIDS-related services, accusing them of providing services to homosexuals.
Last year, Mwalimu said it was estimated that 23 percent of men who have sex with men in Tanzania were living with HIV/AIDS.