Zimbabwe churches in a bid to block SA’s Somizi from attending function as they say no gays allowed. The celebrity chef is expected to attend the reopening of the iconic Garwe Restaurant in Harare on Thursday. Churches in Zimbabwe have mobilised to block South African media personality Somizi “Somgaga” Mhlongo from attending a function.
However, churches under the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe have vowed to block Somizi from attending the red carpet event. The churches insist that Somizi, who is gay, is not welcome. The ACCZ made it stridently clear that it is against the embattled Idols SA judge’s appearance at the event, arguing that same-sex relationships are illegal in Zimbabwe. The organisation went on to claim that both Christianity and the African traditional religion are against same-sex relationships.
The churches have since written to the Office of the President and Cabinet and several government ministries imploring them to take action against the coming of Somizi for the reopening of Garwe Restaurant.
The ACCZ said that the government should protect citizens by banning the event or making Garwe Restaurant choose another guest Chef to grace the reopening.
The churches made it clear that if the government does not intervene and fails “to protect us in time,” they would stage demonstrations at the airport against Somizi.
Below is the letter from the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe, which iHarare is publishing in its entirety.
RE: KINDLY ASSIST WITH ACTION AGAINST THE COMING OF SOMIZI SOMGAGA TO THE RE-OPENING OF GARWE RESTAURANT AS THE GUEST CHEF
We represent indigenous churches in Zimbabwe and are strongly rooted to our culture and support our revolutionary party. It is after we saw an article in our leading paper “Sunday Mail, 31 October edition” that a South African well known gay, Somizi Mhlongo “Somiz” is coming to Zimbabwe to grace the reopening of Garwe Restaurant on the 4 of November 2021. The church is strongly against such an event in the sense that;
Somiz is a homosexual, hence according to our People’s driven Constitution, Zimbabwe doesn’t tolerate homosexuality. It is therefore our question, if we allow Somiz to come to our land, spiritually we would have been 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 harmonized elections for it is publicly known that our party strongly stands against homosexuality.
After reading the article and spreading the message to all our congregations, they all expressed ingratitude and felt vulnerable for our rights, we feel, we are being violated. We stand firm to announce to you that we don’t support such an event in our land.
Our Bible through which all offices of authority swear upon states on Leviticus 18:22 that “a man must not lie with mankind as with womankind, it is an abomination. There are many Biblical verses, such as Romans 1:26-27, Genesis 18 and 19 which teaches us against homosexuality and its dangers if it is allowed in the nation. Even our African culture as we were taught by our ancestors is against homosexuality. It is therefore that we are requesting for your intervention, either the event being banned or they change their guest chef- of all the chefs in Africa, why would they choose to invite a gay chef? What is the motive behind the event?
If the authorities fail to protect us in time, the Church is currently planning to hold a peaceful demonstration at the airport upon his arrival as well as at the Restaurant. Zimbabwe is a Christian Community and we Indigenous Churches stand firm to our culture for we do not seek any foreign aid.
We are kindly seeking your response within 24 hours immediately after receiving this.
The government is yet to publicly acknowledge the letter or take any position on Somizi Mhlongo’s appearance at the reopening of Garwe Restaurant.
What does the law in Zimbabwe say about Same-Sex relationships?
Same-s.e.x relationships are frowned upon in the country and regarded as a cultural taboo. A 2006 revision to the country’s criminal code criminalized any actions perceived as homos.e.xual. The law made it a criminal offence for two men to hold hands, hug, or kiss or commit acts that “would be regarded by a reasonable person as an indecent act.” The offence can carry an extended prison term.
Section 74 of the Zimbabwean criminal code reads:
‘…any male person who, with the consent of another male person, knowingly performs with that other person anal sexual intercourse, or any act involving physical contact other than anal s.e.xual intercourse that would be regarded by a reasonable person to be an indecent act, shall be guilty of s0d0my and liable to a fine up to or exceeding level fourteen or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or both.’
Zimbabwe’s new constitution, signed into law by former President Mugabe in May 2013, prohibits gay marriage. Article 78(3) states that ‘Persons of the same sex are prohibited from marrying each other’.
Source – Zimgazette
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