By Sihle Mkhize
Media personality Somizi “Somgaga” Mhlongo has described his banning from an event in Zimbabwe as both xenophobic and homophobic.
Mhlongo was meant to make an appearance at the reopening of a famous restaurant in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare.
“What you are doing is being homophobic is no different with anyone who is xenophobic and racist,” Somizi said.
The Purpose has learnt that things went south after the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe and Zanu-PF Youth League protested his visit.
They wrote to the President’s Office voicing their disapproval and urging him to stop Mhlongo from coming to the country.
“Somizi is a homosexual, according to our people’s driven constitution, Zimbabwe doesn’t tolerate homosexuality.
I will advocate for that and if it means I should die for it, so be it
“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 elections.
“Our party strongly stands against homosexuality,” said the council.
Like most parts of Africa, homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe, and the LGBTQAI+ community faces legal and societal challenges.
Zanu-PF Youth League announced Mhlongo will no longer visit Zimbabwe for the event.
In a statement, Zanu-PF acting deputy secretary for youth affairs Tendai Chirau said he had engaged the restaurant owners to stop Mhlongo’s visit.
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“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 guests (a declared ngito).
“I am glad to announce that the owner took heed of the great concerns and elected to remove the said ngito,” Chirau said.
However, Mhlongo responded by posting a video on Instagram and expressing how he felt.
He said their decision would not affect him but that didn’t make it okay.
He also said that their decision would not change whether or not someone is queer.
“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.
“I 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 is sad, very sad and I hope things get better.”