Cape Town – South African media personality Somizi Mhlongo has allegedly been blocked from entering Zimbabwe because of his sexuality.
According to The Citizen, Mhlongo was scheduled to arrive in Zimbabwe on Thursday, November 4, as a guest chef for the reopening of a popular Zimbabwean restaurant, Garwe.
However, the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe and the ruling Zanu-PF youth league mobilised to have Somizi blocked from entering the country.
The council sent a letter to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office expressing its displeasure and requested that Mhlongo be barred from entering the country.
“Somizi is a homosexual, hence according to our people’s driven constitution, Zimbabwe doesn’t tolerate homosexuality. It is therefore our question, if we allow Somizi to come to our land, spiritually we would have disturbed a lot, and physically we would have openly accepted homosexuality in Zimbabwe hence affecting our children. This move will also affect our revolutionary party Zanu-PF by disturbing the 5 million votes win needed in the next 2023 harmonised elections for it is publicly known that our party strongly stands against homosexuality,” reads the letter, in part.
UNWELCOME: The Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe asks President Mnangagwa to intervene and stop South African celebrity Somizi Mhlongo from travelling to Zimbabwe to appear as a guest chef at Garwe Restaurant. Churches say “strongly against” – because Somizi is gay pic.twitter.com/coM9JQXqJo
— ZimLive (@zimlive) November 3, 2021
On the other hand, Zanu-PF’s acting deputy secretary for youth affairs Tendai Chirau said he had engaged the restaurant owners to stop Mhlongo’s visit.
“The scheduled reopening of Garwe restaurant in Harare is a welcome development in the food industry sector. I have engaged the owner of the outlet, Ms Mandi, expressing our concerns and those by different societal groups over the invitation of one of the highly controversial guest (a declared ngito). I am glad to announce that the owner took heed of the great concerns and elected to remove the said ngito (gay person) from the guest list and never to associate themselves with the said character again,” Chirau said in a statement.
— Tendai Chirau (@TendaiChirau) November 2, 2021
Following the development, Somizi took to his Instagram page to express his disappointment.
“This is not the first time this has happened to me. I’m OK with it but I’m not OK with it at the same time.
“Them telling me that should come to their country because m gay won’t change anything with regards to people being gay or homosexual, it won’t change. I’m not the reason why people are homosexual.”
“You, not wanting me for being authentically me, keep it, keep your space, keep your country, I don’t want to be there anyway.”
“ButI will not stop speaking on behalf of the voiceless and on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves. I will advocate for that and if it means I should die for it, so be it. But it sad, very sad and I hope things get better,” the former Idols SA judge said.
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Picture: Getty Images
Compiled by Sinothando Siyolo