Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers: Media raises awareness of folly of UK govt’s normalisation returns policy

Alice Muzira, a lawyer, said the UK government should urgently review its position while there were still human rights violations in Zimbabwe. “Removals should be suspended and the situation in relation to safety of returns to Zimbabwe closely monitored,” she said” – the Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/12/home-office-criticised-for-accelerating-removals-to-zimbabwe

On 12 February 2019, the Guardian reported not in one but two news articles on the plight of enforced returns to Zimbabwe by the UK Government.

Two hard-hitting articles by Frances Perraudin, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/feb/12/i-can-hardly-sleep-the-zimbabweans-facing-deportation-from-uk,  and  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/12/home-office-criticised-for-accelerating-removals-to-Zimbabwe,  have drawn awareness to increasing detentions of Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers with a view to removal.  All this despite the known current unstable conditions in Zimbabwe.

It was reported in February 2018 that the UK Goverment  intends to remove at least  2500 undocumented Zimbabweans living in the UK.  This is a signficant number.

It will  be remembered that between 2006 and 2013, the protracted Zimbabwean litigation that ensued arose following the UK Government’s efforts  to remove failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe.

It’s deja vu once again.

A word of warning  however reverberates as far back as 2009:

“Research undertaken in March 2009 by the Phoenix Fund for Zimbabwe and published in a report, Zimbabwe: Rebuilding a Nation, found: The relationship between the Zimbabwean community in the UK and the UK Border Agency is extremely tense and the high levels of suspicion and mistrust could undermine any initiatives that are linked to return. The report quotes the United Kingdom Border Agency’s January 2009 estimates for Zimbabweans in the UK, which suggest that there may be living here as many as 70,000 failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers or Zimbabweans without valid leave to remain. This figure suggests those potentially eligible for removal to Zimbabwe could present the UKBA with a huge task, with concomitant strain on pre-removal detention centres. If the so-called normalisation of returns policy to Zimbabwe is pursued, I suspect there will be prolonged legal battles in many cases” – https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200809/ldhansrd/text/91104-0011.htm

The Home Office have embarked on a normalisation of returns policy to Zimbabwe. The problem for them however is that  they have the timing wrong.  Consequently, they have a mammoth task before them.

Litigation will ensue.  Precedent will be set.  The UK courts will become extremly busy.

It may be time for someone to whisper in the Secretary of State’s ear: ” It’s going to be a long hard fight.  Let this one go”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Migrant Zimbabwe: Launch of a Brand New Blog!

Migrant Zimbabwe, a brand new blog  has been launched!

 

The blog is an off shoot from the recent flurry of posts  on this site surrounding the situation in Zimbabwe, the continuing violations of human rights  and impact of such events  upon  the thousands of undocumented Zimbabweans living in the UK.

 

The new blog will be a hotpot of sorts, inviting  the reader ‘s contribution to the site.

 

Go on, take a minute or two and visit the new site!

Zimbabwe’s brutal crackdown on protests and effect on UK based Zimbabwean protesters and activists

People were beaten. Some hunted and abducted. Others arrested and detained. Citizens were killed. Children taken and detained. Deliberate internet shutdown covered up a massive operation of repression.

 

These are the events which unfolded in Zimbabwe from 14th January 2019 running to several days as people in various parts of the world simply watched whilst others steadfastly turned a blind eye to the atrocities.

 

Zimbabwe’s authorities, via the police, army and other ZANU(PF) agents, treating its own citizens as enemies of the state, launched a brutal crackdown on those involved or perceived to have organised or taken part in the recent fuel protests.  Killing and other forms of ill-treatment were the authorities response to a long suffering nation that dared to express its discontentment with those supposed to lead and serve them.

 

Continue reading

Deliberate and calculated: How the Home Office prevented access to the Immigration Health Surcharge Portal on 7 January 2019

In a deliberate and calculated move, the Home Office jumped the gun, in practice enabling the doubling of the Immigration Health Surcharge to become effective on 7 January 2019.

 

The effect of the increase to the charge is set out in a recent blog post: Doubling of the Immigration Health Surcharge: Paying through the nose to obtain a UK visa

The Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2018 No. 1389 was made on 18 December 2018 and is to the following terms, amongst other provisions:

 

Continue reading

Effect of the “repatriation agreement” between the Zimbabwean and UK authorities: Breach of claimant’s confidentiality or careless exposure to risk?

If brought to  full life without regard to due process and safeguards, the repatriation agreement between the UK Government and the Zimbabwean authorities might have the effect,  on the one hand of creating refugees out of the very people sought to be removed and on the other, breach of their confidentiality.

 

Continue reading