Political hot potato: Home Office refuses to disclose whether the Zimbabwean government will now issue ETD’s to non-consenting undocumented returnees

The subject of whether the Zimbabwean government has now made a U-turn from Mugabe’s previous position of refusing to accept unwilling Zimbabwean returnees without valid national passports, seems too hot to handle.


“A Response from the UK Government is long overdue, with stated reasons on 25 July 2018 being that, “ this is due to internal delays with our FOI process”.    It therefore remains to be seen, which if any, of the questions raised will be addressed by the Home Office in response”, was the conclusion to the recent blog post of 3 August 2018, The impact of Mnangagwa’s win upon UK based Zimbabwean asylum claimants


As I suspected, the Home office have refused to provide disclosure to any of the questions asked as regards whether there is now in practice an agreement between the UK and Zimbabwean government of enforcing returns of non- consenting undocumented Zimbabweans. The irksome problem for the UK government arising from their inability to enforce returns for such persons is summarized in a previous recent blog post: Is Mnangagwa’s New  Government paving the way for  UK mass removals of failed Zimbabwean Asylum Claimants ?

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The Preliminary Information Questionnaire: Are we headed back to an increased use of non-compliance based asylum refusal decisions?

The SEF is back! Not as we know it, but under the guise of the Preliminary Information Questionnaire(PIQ). The Home Office have in recent weeks been sending out the questionnaire to a good number of adults who have claimed asylum, been screened but are yet to be substantively interviewed.

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The impact of Mnangagwa’s win upon UK based Zimbabwean asylum claimants

For those that dared to hope and dream that the July elections in Zimbabwe would result in a win for the opposition…….. it’s now time to wake up.  ZANU(PF) remains in power.


Whether or not the MDC Alliance will challenge President Emmerson Mnanganwa’s triumph over Nelson Chamisa, the practical reality is that ZANU(PF), as usual, has floored the opposition and maintained it’s tight hold on power.


Mnangagwa’s triumph however is bitter sweet. The façade of peace and non- violence that he sought to painstakingly present since last November has fully fallen away.  It took only 8months to do so.  Just when it was thought the elections would pass peacefully so as to legitimatise a Government brought about by a coup, violence and death came knocking. The ever present monstrous side of ZANU(PF) raised it’s ugly head. On 1 August 2018, the Zimbabwean government sanctioned the use of the Zimbabwean army, which with a show of violent force, shot and killed its own citizens. Why? Some opposition supporters had come out in protest over perceived rigging and delays in announcing the Presidential elections results.


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Undocumented Zimbabweans who have been irremovable for lack of a valid passport or ETD: Should the UK Government regularise their status?

There is a world of difference between advising a person on what they need to hear as opposed to what they want to hear.  The difference is essential- correct advice results in the taking of proper effective steps to counter and solve a particular legal problem.   Presentation of grossly sugar-coated advice simply so as to make it palatable to the hearer, in particular in the subject area of enforced removals, has the real potential of depriving a claimant of the proper advice they need in order to galvanise them into much needed action earlier on.


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Just when the Home Office thought Iraqi protection claims were well and truly buried, resurrection emanates from the Upper Tribunal

The Home Office has for well over a year been angling to throw a spanner in the works so far as continued reliance upon the guidance flowing from AA (Article 15(c)) ( Iraq CG [2015] UKUT 544 (IAC) is concerned.   The Secretary of State’s general position as set out in currently published Country Information Notes is that the security situation in Iraq has significantly improved. As is clear from those Notes, he has persistently sought to consign to the legal dustbin, the viability of continued reliance upon AA (Iraq )2015.


The Secretary of State’s currently published Information Notes on Iraq have been intended to bury the effect of AA(Iraq)2015, which has opened the doorway to a good number of Iraqi claimants succeeding in the Tribunal in their claims for protection owing to the security conditions in Iraq.


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After Kiarie and Byndloss: Applicant has a second bite of the cherry in a Section 94(B) certification case

QR (Pakistan), R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 1413 (21 June 2018) addresses several important strands arising out of a challenge in the Court of Appeal to a Section 94(B) Certificate.



Interestingly, in QR(Pakistan), the Court of Appeal granted permission for judicial review in a case where the Applicant had prior to his deportation in February 2017, unsuccessfully mounted a challenge in relation to a previously issued Section 94(B) certificate. After his deportation and following the publication Kiarie and Byndloss in June 2017 in the Supreme Court, well out of time, the Applicant sought to resurrect his previous claim by lodgement of further judicial proceedings in September 2017 whilst abroad.


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