Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers in the UK: Why some won’t or can’t return home

“So why not return home then if nothing is working for you in the UK?”


This is the suggestion that a failed Zimbabwean asylum seeker who has been in the UK for 15years  or more might receive, not from those within the UK but often times, from relatives residing in Zimbabwe itself.  On the surface, this seems to be an agreeable suggestion, however for someone who has been in the UK for that number of years, this is not a likely option.   For some, it is difficult to take such a response as nothing short of mockery, an insult. The suggestion can be construed as such, in particular where it hits a raw nerve, but usually it emanates from someone who is truly baffled, baffled as to why a person would continue to remain in a foreign country for well over a decade with nothing to show for it.


Picture this however; Zimbabwe, a country led by a government, which some say observes no rule of law, enjoys no democracy; where elections are plagued by political violence and intimidation; where the currency itself is in chaos; where a man in his 90’s  intends  to stand for the presidential  elections in 2018 –  a country which has deteriorated  to such an extent that a government minister can  suggest that parents in Zimbabwe who cannot afford school fees can offer livestock such as goats or sheep as payment.


Consider then the  circumstances of a claimant  residing in the UK, unable to work,  who has done all they can to regularise their stay yet  missed out  at various points,  for one reason or the other,  in obtaining leave to remain in the UK.  Years go by, yet the oppressive governing regime in Zimbabwe remains put.


In their absence, Zimbabwe has now become known as a nation of vendors, https://www.newsday.co.zw/2014/04/08/zimbabwe-nation-vendors/. There is no forthcoming assurance that relatives in Zimbabwe will spread out the welcome mat for a person coming from the UK, who will in effect bring nothing to the table. Who will feed, clothe and house such a person on return?


Consider also the circumstances of an active human rights protester/activist in the UK, who continues with their activities yet is unable to obtain protection in the UK on the basis that the Home Office consider them to be a low level activist who will not come to the attention of the Zimbabwean regime and will thus be of  no interest to them.





Claims not submitted when they should have been: 2002 onwards


Take the  position of  Zimbabwean nationals who arrived in the UK in 2002,  most likely on visitor visas issued  at  a UK port( prior to Zimbabwe becoming a visa nation),  yet for some reason failed to advance a claim for asylum during  a period  when claims from Zimbabwean nationals were at their peak  and were succeeding:



“4.2 Applications rose over the summer of 2002 to a record monthly level in October. This was mainly due to an increase in applications from Zimbabwean and nationals of Eastern European countries

4.3 …..Compared with 2001, large increases occurred in the number of applications from nationals of Iraq (rising from 6,680 to 14,570), Zimbabwe (rising from 2,140 to 7,655)…..

4.7 ……..The number of grants of asylum to African nationals increased by 19 per cent to 5,795, due to increased grants for nationals of Zimbabwe”. Control of Immigration: Statistic United Kingdom 2002. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/251044/6053.pdf

There is a reference above to a failed Zimbabwean asylum seeker who has accrued 15years residence in the UK: for those that failed to advance an asylum claim, in particular in 2002, but claimed years later on when the odds were against them, it becomes apparent why they could still continue to remain in the UK undocumented.



Remaining in the UK during and following a policy of non- removals to Zimbabwe:



Due to the deteriorating sitation in Zimbabwe, the UK government  instituted a policy against enforced returns to Zimbabwe. A previous blog article sets out the periods covered by the moratorium in detail:



Valid Passport with the Home Office? Zimbabweans with no claims still very much removable from the UK


On 16 January 2002, the Home Secretary decided to suspend removals to Zimbabwe until after the presidential election were  held.  Although there were brief periods when the policy of non -removals was lifted,  it was not until 14 October 2010 that UK ministers finally announced  that the  UK Border Agency would be resuming enforced returns of failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe after the  Upper Tribunal  had issued its judgment in the further country guidance case of EM & others.


With such a policy in place over an extended period of time,  several  Zimbabwean nationals  remained  in the UK failing to  return  home or eventually put forward  claims for asylum which however  subsequently failed.


Missing out on RN (Returnees) Zimbabwe- 2008 till 2011:


Those who made initial or fresh claims for asylum from late 2008 and until 2011 or so would most likely have relied upon the then favorable case of RN (Returnees) Zimbabwe CG [2008] UKAIT 00083.  The hearing in RN (Returnees) began on 1 September 2008, in the immediate aftermath of the atrocities and other widespread violence that had characterised the period around the second round of presidential elections in Zimbabwe in the middle of that year.

RN (Returnees)  established, inter alia, :  “Those at risk on return to Zimbabwe on account of imputed political opinion are no longer restricted to those who are perceived to be members or supporters of the MDC but include anyone who is unable to demonstrate support for or loyalty to the regime or Zanu-PF. To that extent the country guidance in HS is no longer to be followed. But a bare assertion that such is the case will not suffice, especially in the case of an appellant who has been found not credible in his account of experiences in Zimbabwe……. Although a power sharing agreement has been signed between Mr Mugabe on behalf of Zanu-PF and Mr Tsvangirai  on behalf of the MDC, the evidence presented does not demonstrate that the agreement as such has removed the real risk of serious harm we have identified for anyone now returned to Zimbabwe who is not able to demonstrate allegiance to or association with the Zimbabwean regime”. 


EM and others (Returnees) Zimbabwe CG [2011] UKUT 98 (IAC) replaced RN (Returnees) Zimbabwe CG [2008] UKAIT 00083.    In EM,  the Upper Tribunal  considered the situation in Zimbabwe in terms of the then current political position and related protection issues, in order to give country guidance, some two years after the appearance of the determination in RN (Returnees). EM confirmed that the country guidance regarding risk at the airport continued to be as set out in HS (Returning asylum seekers) Zimbabwe [2007] UKAIT 00094, read with the findings on that issue in SM and Others (MDC – internal flight – risk categories) Zimbabwe CG [2005] UKIAT 00100 and AA (Risk for involuntary returnees) Zimbabwe CG [2006] UKAIT 00061.

Indicator of the number of undocumented Zimbabweans in the UK in 2009:


There seem to be some indications in 2009, that there were 70,000 failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers or Zimbabweans in the UK without valid leave to remain:


“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…” Lords Hansard text for 4 November 2009, https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200809/ldhansrd/text/91104-0011.htm


Missing out on the Legacy Programme- between 2006 and 2014:


Those who remained in the UK but failed to elicit success through RN (Zimbabwe) may also have missed out on placing reliance upon the so called “Legacy Programme”.


In the last few years priors to 2014, arguments were being advanced that effectively, where legacy cases applied, the  Secretary of State had  two choices:  removal or a grant indefinite leave to remain, and that anyone who happened to have been accepted as a legacy case was  entitled to benefit from that special treatment. Some claimants were indeed granted settlement or discretionary leave to remain over the years where their case fell within the legacy scheme: some were not.


The legacy programme or scheme was set up to deal with the vast backlog of cases that had by 2006 been identified. In respect of asylum applications made prior to 5 March 2007 which had not been disposed of – several hundreds of thousands – responsibility for dealing with such cases was transferred to the Casework Resolution Directive (CRD). Many of those potentially within the programme were liable to removal, having previously exhausted their appeal rights. Many sought thereafter to lodge fresh submissions and representations. By mid-2011 there were still over 100,000 cases remaining to be disposed of. In July 2011 the remaining cases and those in controlled archive were transferred for resolution by a new unit called the Case Assurance and Audit Unit (CAAU).


In   SH (Iran) & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 1469, the Court  of Appeal made the position clear, thereby seeking to put an end to a series of cases on Legacy decisions in asylum applications. The principal argument advanced depended on identifying a policy or commitment, binding on the Secretary of State, to “conclude” a case within the legacy programme either by removing the applicant or by granting him some form of leave to remain.  The Secretary of State stated there was no such commitment. The Court of Appeal concluded as follows:



  • The legacy programme was never designed to be and was never stated to be an amnesty. The legacy programme was to be regarded as an operational programme only.

  • Mere delay in dealing with a case falling within the legacy programme cannot of itself give rise to any expectation or entitlement that relief should be granted as though the case had been dealt with with what is asserted to be reasonable expedition. Delay and maladministration are, it must be emphasised, not to be equated with unlawfulness.

  • There is, in the ordinary way, no occasion, in a context such as the present, for some kind of separate application of the doctrine of legitimate expectation. Put simply, the relevant legitimate expectation is that an applicant under the legacy programme will have his case treated in accordance with the law and policy applicable at the time of the relevant decision.

  • There is no room for argument that the appellant are to be treated as entitled to a grant of leave to remain simply because they otherwise will be left in a state of indefinite limbo. True it may be that there have been times when (for example) it has not proved possible for undocumented Iranians to be removed to Iran. But it does not follow that will always remain the case; and, there at no stage has been in existence a policy that those whose removal from the United Kingdom cannot be enforced should for that reason alone be granted leave.

  • There is no room in the present cases for broad assertions that like cases must be treated alike. Cases in the legacy programme do not require uniformity of outcome simply because they are in the legacy programme; indeed, that would go against the general approach that such cases are ordinarily to be decided on the law and policy operative at the time of the individual decision and by reference to the circumstances of the individual case.

  • There is no general obligation on the Secretary of State to issue removal directions when he decides to refuse leave to remain. The Secretary of State is in this regard also entitled to look to the individual departing voluntarily before enforcing removal.

  • The position with regard to legacy cases on these particular points is now to be taken as laid to rest. There is no separate legacy “policy”. There is no basis for relying on delay as, in itself, a ground for obtaining leave to remain. There is in the ordinary case no relevant legitimate expectation, other than that the case will be considered on applicable law and policy at the time the decision is made. There is no basis for saying that there is a commitment on the part of the Secretary of State to “conclude” a case either by effecting actual removal or by granting leave to remain.

  • Judges will firmly dismiss any further claims in legacy cases that attempt to repeat arguments (however disguised) that the courts have already been comprehensively rejected. But the point goes further. Attempts to advance such claims are a waste of public money and scarce judicial resources. All those advising clients have a duty to examine any further potential legacy claim with the closest scrutiny.


Missing out on the 14year Rule:


For those who had spent less then 14years in the UK but were about to accrue the requisite period, thereby qualifying for indefinite leave to remain, the abolishment of the 14yar Rule in July 2012 would have dealt such potential applicants a blow.

Absent other favourable considerations, the general requirement for leave to remain for overstayers is that they show they have lived continuously in the UK for at least 20 years (discounting any period of imprisonment).




Long term residing Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers are faced with various problems in the UK. This includes possible destitution, inability to work  with some unfortunately taking their own lives rather than return to Zimbabwe.

News articles- difficulties faced by Zimbabwean asylum seekers left in limbo:



 –Asylum limbo: the woman who can’t stay in Britain, but can’t leave either. The Guardian, 3 May 2017: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/03/asylum-seeker-stuck-15-year-limbo-zimbabwe-death


Paradzai Nkomo’s emailed description of her situation is succinct and shocking. She is Zimbabwean and has been in Britain for 15 years. First her application for asylum was rejected and then her request to be deported home was also refused, leaving her stuck in limbo.   It’s difficult to integrate as I am not permitted to work..”


Zimbabwean asylum seeker says life is tough in Britain – Nehanda Radio 5 December 2015, http://nehandaradio.com/2015/12/05/zimbabwean-asylum-seeker-says-life-is-tough-in-britain/

“A Zimbabwean seeking asylum in the United Kingdom says life is hard in Britain where she is not allowed to look for a job. Ester Nyambi, who sought asylum soon after completing her graduate studies a few years ago, told VOA Studio 7 the money she is receiving per month is not enough to cater for her family. Nyambi said, “It hasn’t been easy because when you are in the asylum system you are not allowed to work and all you have to do is to depend on the allowances that you get from the government and some of us are people that have never been on state benefits. “It really works on you emotions, that’s why at times people really get depressed because you are in a state of limbo… you don’t know where you stand and you don’t know when your papers will be processed.”


-‘We can’t go back’: families seeking asylum fear destitution , 19 August 2015, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/19/families-seeking-asylum-face-destitution-under-new-rules

Mercy Moyo paid to be smuggled to Britain from Zimbabwe in 2002 after her anti-government activist father was beaten by Zanu-PF supporters and subsequently died. Yet her asylum application was turned down. Too frightened to return to Zimbabwe and with all support terminated, Moyo became destitute. For more than a year, she was homeless, briefly sleeping rough. “In this country, it is so cold in the winter that you can die when you are living in the streets,” she says”.


-The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe – now it won’t have him back, 2 July 2015, The Independent, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-real-stories-of-migrant-britain-clive-fled-from-zimbabwe-now-it-wont-have-him-back-10362362.html


“….Clive has wanted to go home to Zimbabwe for more than four years now. It’s a cold morning in Glasgow and Harare seems a long way away as he tries to stay warm beneath a clattering fan heater in a night shelter kitchen. This is at Anderston Kelvingrove church, the only reliable place for destitute male asylum seekers to sleep indoors in the city……Now 31, Clive first came to Britain in January 2008…….It’s now early 2015 and nothing has changed. Clive is waiting, hoping an opportunity to create a real home – in either country – will present itself. The Home Office is looking at his case again, but previous form suggests little will change. If Clive can hang on another 13 years , there’s a small chance he could persuade a judge to grant a right to remain – those living in Britain for 20 years or more without resolution are sometimes given clemency – but it would mean spending his best working years in limbo. Clive’s attempt to put the last six years of his life into words is simple. “I came in the hope of a better life than I had, but I’ve got this.


News stories of suicide by Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers:



Zimbabwe boxer threatened with deportation found dead in south London Park… The Standard, 16 March 2017, http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/boxer-who-was-threatened-with-deportation-found-dead-in-south-london-park-a3491616.html

“Zimbabwean national Bhekitshe Moyo, 42, had been living in Britain for 15 years but was ordered to leave the country by the Home Office.………………After he thought he had been here for a long time, he tried to apply for an indefinite leave to remain. But she said “everything changed” and he was taken to Brook House immigration centre. He was released from the immigration centre in November but the case for his deportation continued. It [the deportation] came as a disappointment as he thought he was doing the things the right way,” Ms Koboto said”.


-5 Suicides of Zimbabwean Asylum Seekers in the UK That Shocked the nation…Zimbabwe News, 7 May 2016, http://www.thezimbabwenewslive.com/health-fitness-18942-18942.html

Fighting deportation with suicide – The Zimbabwean, 26 February 2009, http://thezimbabwean.co/2009/02/fighting-deportation-with-suicide/

“….Chrispen Kulinji who also spent several months in detention in the UK says the detention system needs to be reviewed. People are being held inside for long periods when they are supposed to be removed within 7 days. He gave examples of some inmates he met who had been in detention for 6 months and over. This he says is what is driving others to consider suicide….”

-Two asylum seekers took their own lives within 24 hours Institute of Race Relations, IRR, 12 September 2005, http://www.irr.org.uk/news/two-asylum-seekers-took-their-own-lives-within-24-hours/

“On Wednesday 14 September, 26-year-old Edmore Ngwenya, a Zimbabwean asylum seeker jumped into a canal in Manchester”.





For undocumented Zimbabweans residing in the UK, who have not claimed asylum and have no basis for doing so, various options may be available as per a previous blog article:


Overstayer Or Failed Asylum Seeker in the UK? Why You Shouldn’t Pack Your Bags Just Yet

The current home office policy for Zimbabwean asylum claimants has been considered via the  following blog:


New Zimbabwe Home Office Policy Note 2017: Protestors, Demonstrators and Social Media Resistance Focused


The new Policy Information Note, Country policy and information note: opposition to the government, Zimbabwe, January 2017 summarizes  that actual or perceived involvement in political opposition activities includes: members or supporters of political parties, protestors, journalists, civil society activists and teachers.

Some human rights and civic society organizations based in the UK:


Examples are as follows:


Helpful case law for UK based protesters and activists:


SM and others (MDC- internal flight – risk categories) Zimbabwe CG 2005 UKIAT 00100:

“43.In his submissions Mr Huffer argued that those suspected or perceived of being associated with the opposition have included activists, campaigners, officials and election polling agents, MDC candidates for local and national government, MDC members, former MDC members, MDC supporters, those who voted or believed to have voted for the MDC and those belonging to the MDC, families of the foregoing, employees of the foregoing, those whose actions have given rise to suspicion of support for the opposition such as attending an MDC rally or wearing a T-shirt, attending a demonstration, teachers and other professionals, refusal to attend a ZANU-PF rally or chant a ZANU-PF slogan or not having a ZANU-PF membership card. The Tribunal accept that these categories illustrate those who might be at risk but each case must depend upon its own circumstances. In a number of cases the Tribunal has drawn a distinction between low level and high level political activities. The situation in Zimbabwe is arbitrary and unpredictable and in these circumstances such a distinction is not determinative. The phrase “low level activities” is sometimes used as a way of describing someone whose background and profile is such that it is thought that he would not be of interest to the authorities but someone whose political activities may have been at a low level may have become of interest to the authorities. The current position taken by the Tribunal that each case must be decided on its individual facts should be continued…”


HS (returning asylum seekers) Zimbabwe CG [2007] UKAIT 00094 provides:




“2.The findings in respect of risk categories in SM and Others (MDC – Internal flight – risk categories) Zimbabwe CG [2005] UKIAT 00100, as adopted, affirmed and supplemented in AA (Risk for involuntary returnees) Zimbabwe CG [2006] UKAIT 00061 are adopted and reaffirmed. The Tribunal identifies one further risk category, being those seen to be active in association with human rights or civil society organisations where evidence suggests that the particular organisation has been identified by the authorities as a critic or opponent of the Zimbabwean regime.


3.The process of screening returning passengers is an intelligence led process and the CIO will generally have identified from the passenger manifest in advance, based upon such intelligence, those passengers in whom there is any possible interest…”


As regards the Zimbabwean regime’s capacity to identify individuals, reference is made to YB (Eritrea) 2008] EWCA Civ 360, which provides:


“10.In Danian, adopting the considered submission of the UNHCR, Brooke LJ (at 557), with the concurrence of Nourse and Buxton LJJ, held:

“…I do not accept the Tribunal’s conclusion that a refugee sur place who had acted in bad faith falls out with the Geneva Convention and can deported to his home country notwithstanding that he has a genuine and well-founded fear of persecution for a Convention reason and that there is a real risk that such persecution may take place. Although his credibility is likely to be low and his claim must be rigorously scrutinised, he is still entitled to the protection of the Convention, and this country is not entitled to disregard the provisions of the Convention by which it is bound, if it should turn out that he does indeed qualify for protection against refoulement at the time his application is considered.”

18 As has been seen (§7 above), the tribunal, while accepting that the appellant’s political activity in this country was genuine, were not prepared to accept in the absence of positive evidence that the Eritrean authorities had “the means and the inclination” to monitor such activities as a demonstration outside their embassy, or that they would be able to identify the appellant from photographs of the demonstration. In my judgment, and without disrespect to what is a specialist tribunal, this is a finding which risks losing contact with reality. Where, as here, the tribunal has objective evidence which “paints a bleak picture of the suppression of political opponents” by a named government, it requires little or no evidence or speculation to arrive at a strong possibility – and perhaps more – that its foreign legations not only film or photograph their nationals who demonstrate in public against the regime but have informers among expatriate oppositionist organisations who can name the people who are filmed or photographed. Similarly it does not require affirmative evidence to establish a probability that the intelligence services of such states monitor the internet for information about oppositionist groups. The real question in most cases will be what follows for the individual claimant. If, for example, any information reaching the embassy is likely to be that the claimant identified in a photograph is a hanger-on with no real commitment to the oppositionist cause, that will go directly to the issue flagged up by art 4(3)(d) of the Directive”.


YB (Eretria) can be read with BA in mind. BA (Demonstrators in Britain – risk on return) Iran CG [2011] UKUT 36 (IAC), provides in its headnote:

“4.The following are relevant factors to be considered when assessing risk on return having regard to sur place activities:

(i) Nature of sur place activity


  • Theme of demonstrations – what do the demonstrators want (e.g. reform of the regime through to its violent overthrow); how will they be characterised by the regime?

  • Role in demonstrations and political profile – can the person be described as a leader; mobiliser (e.g. addressing the crowd), organiser (e.g. leading the chanting); or simply a member of the crowd; if the latter is he active or passive (e.g. does he carry a banner); what is his motive, and is this relevant to the profile he will have in the eyes of the regime>

  • Extent of participation – has the person attended one or two demonstrations or is he a regular participant?

  • Publicity attracted – has a demonstration attracted media coverage in the United Kingdom or the home country; nature of that publicity (quality of images; outlets where stories appear etc)?


(ii) Identification risk


  • Surveillance of demonstrators – assuming the regime aims to identify demonstrators against it how does it do so, through, filming them, having agents who mingle in the crowd, reviewing images/recordings of demonstrations etc?

  • Regime’s capacity to identify individuals – does the regime have advanced technology (e.g. for facial recognition); does it allocate human resources to fit names to faces in the crowd?


(iii) Factors triggering inquiry/action on return


  • Profile – is the person known as a committed opponent or someone with a significant political profile; does he fall within a category which the regime regards as especially objectionable?

  • Immigration history – how did the person leave the country (illegally; type of visa); where has the person been when abroad; is the timing and method of return more likely to lead to inquiry and/or being detained for more than a short period and ill-treated (overstayer; forced return)?


(iv) Consequences of identification


  • Is there differentiation between demonstrators depending on the level of their political profile adverse to the regime?


(v) Identification risk on return


  • Matching identification to person – if a person is identified is that information systematically stored and used; are border posts geared to the task?”


As regards possible identification at Harare Airport, AA Zimbabwe CG UKIAT 00061, states:


  1. All persons identified as deportees will be diverted for questioning by CIO officers who are required to produce a report in respect of all persons who have been forcibly removed to Zimbabwe from the United Kingdom, whether escorted on the plane or not. There is no indication that the authorities in Zimbabwe have any means to distinguish between deportees who have made an unsuccessful asylum claim in the United Kingdom and those who have been removed simply because they have no leave to remain.


  1. The purpose of the initial interview is to establish whether the deportee is of any interest to the CIO or the security services. The deportee will be of interest if questioning reveals that the deportee has a political profile considered adverse to the Zimbabwean regime. Further interrogation away from the airport may also follow if enquiries reveal aspects of a military history to be followed up such as being absent without leave or being involved in military activities outside Zimbabwe. Also, the CIO will refer to the police any issues of outstanding criminal matters such as arrest warrants. There is no evidence that the fact alone of a past criminal conviction, as opposed to an unresolved allegation of criminal activity or an outstanding arrest warrant, will give rise to such an interest. There is also no evidence that the simple fact that a returnee has in the past served in the Zimbabwean army will prevent the passage of a returnee through the airport after this first stage enquiry.


  1. If such a political or relevant military profile is suspected, or if there are outstanding criminal matters to be resolved, the deportee will be taken away by the relevant branch of the CIO for interrogation. The evidence does not suggest that the CIO has any interest in manufacturing or fabricating evidence to create suspicion that is otherwise absent.


  1. This second stage interrogation carries with it a real risk of serious mistreatment sufficient to constitute a breach of article 3. If the reason for suspicion is that the deportee has a political profile considered to be adverse to the Zimbabwean regime that is likely to be sufficient to give rise to a real risk of persecutory ill-treatment for a reason that is recognised by the Refugee Convention. That will not necessarily be the case where the only matter of interest is a relevant military history or outstanding criminal issues. Each case must be considered on its particular facts.


  1. A deportee from the United Kingdom who, having been subjected to the first stage interview at the airport, is allowed to pass through the airport is likely to be the subject of some monitoring in his home area by the local police or the CIO. This monitoring may take the form of being required to report to the local police station for questioning or may be significantly lower key such that the subject may not even be aware of it. If nothing untoward is discovered the authorities will lose interest and the monitoring will cease. It may take some considerable time, certainly a period of months, before the monitoring ceases.


  1. The objective evidence does suggest that the police and the CIO are capable of acting in a seriously abusive manner towards those they perceive to be dissident or in some way an enemy of the state but the evidence does not support the assertion that there is a real risk of persecutory ill-treatment for those who are being monitored solely because of their return from the United Kingdom”.




Despite being met with various challenges  along the years, it appears that Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers who have remained in the UK for a considerable period of time are not leaving.  However, rather than choose to remain without seeking to regularize their status, such claimants, especially those with children who have accrued lengthy residence in the UK, have various options open to them: not all of them have to do with advancing an asylum claim and as such presentation of full facts before an experienced legal practitioner will assist them in finding the best possible solution to their immigration problem.


4 thoughts on “Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers in the UK: Why some won’t or can’t return home

  1. This is a well researched piece of work which I find helpful in many cases related to Zimbabwean situations.

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