On an ordinary Saturday afternoon friends met to catch up on drinks and food at a local tavern in Ilanga at a place called KwaThema. Without knowing the day will be his last, Raymond Mgcini joined them. In the midst of this fun the bench Raymond was sitting on unfortunately broke and he fell on an already fuming unidentified man who dragged him outside and shot him 3 times in front of his boyfriend. In pain and gasping for air Mgcini was rushed to hospital, he was pronounced dead on arrival.

One cannot figure out why someone would pull out a whole gun and shoot at a defenceless gay man whose only sin was to fall from a broken chair. Did he really deserve 3 bullets or was this just a premeditate murder fuelled by xenophobia and homophobia? The shooter was unknown to the deceased. The police have not been helpful, referring the case back and forth to stations. According to a source, the man who shot Ray is part of a known dangerous gang and is on the run and nobody is willing to come forth to identify him with the fear of being hurt or killed.

Zimbabwe is not the friendliest country when it comes to the freedom of queer bodies. Queer man like Raymond migrate to South Africa for greener pastures and protection from hate and discrimination as promised by the South African constitution, nowhere is really safe.

One cannot conclude that Taverns are dangerous but can clearly say they are a breeding ground for general crimes, hate crimes included. Zimbabwean born Raymond is not just a statistic, he had a family and he had a lover whose pain can only be imagined. STOP KILLING US. Rest in Power Ray, lala ngoxolo, zorora murugare.

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