Zimbabwean Asylum Claimants And The New Political Movement: Are The Home Office & Tribunal “Getting it” ?

Social mediaThere clearly is a new protest political  movement emerging   in Zimbabwe  being  propelled substantially  by  social media. Where this
continues  in the long term ( if not  suppressed ),  and where  claimants associated with such movements seek protection in the UK,  then   current rigid   UK  asylum country  guidance caselaw, CM (EM country guidance; disclosure) Zimbabwe CG [2013] UKUT 59 (IAC),   becomes increasingly  redundant.


The current question  is whether the  Home Office together with the Tribunal understand the true nature and extent of the new  movement and how it impacts  upon  claimant’s  cases upon application or appeal.  Simply put, are they “getting it ”?   If not and where the guidance in CM obscures  consideration of claims from persons associated with such movements, then there is an inevitable adverse  impact  upon considerations of  risk on return   and  entitlement to protection for affected claimants.


A glimpse of some  articles below  explain the nature of the movement(s):



I dealt recently with a Zimbabwean asylum claimant associated with one such movement and   from initial  consideration of his application  by the Home Office  to adjudication of his appeal in the First Tier Tribunal, there was not only  a complete misunderstanding   of  the nature of the  movement he was involved  with  but also  a failure to appreciate whether he would be at risk on return to Zimbabwe.  Relevant supportive background evidence was  either  not taken into account or  misapplied. The  First Tier Judge  in his decision  expressly admitted  having no idea what  the relevance   of being involved with such a movement meant  as regards issues of risk on  return. On  permission to appeal being granted,  the Upper Tribunal Judge  re-made the  decision   but that did not  take matters  further having regard to CM inevitably  drawing the Judge  to  the guidance in that caselaw. Clearly, the  guidance  in CM is  largely  inapplicable  and unsuited to claimants associated with the new movement(s)  seeking protection in the UK.


The  Home Office and the Tribunal need to appreciate  that  it  is now no longer simply   just about  being a member of the  MDC and having a political  profile  associated with said party, nor just about war  veterans and militia bashing the opposition.


Some new country guidance caselaw may be in order in an appropriate case if  the current Zimbabwean  regime remains in power and if  the  current movement continues.


Perhaps, if the  first wave of Zimbabwean asylum claimants associated with the current continuing political movement starts  hitting   UK shores( as occurred  around 2002 and 2005 and 2008 )   new guidance  might swiftly  be in order.

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