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Asylum-seekers face deportation from UK

Lucia Makamure



THOUSANDS of failed Zimbabwean asylum-seekers in Britain face deportation after a British court last week ruled that not all of them were victims of polit

ical repression in Zimbabwe.


The deportation move comes in the wake of last week’s ruling by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in Britain that not every deported asylum-seeker would be at risk of harassment by security agents if returned to Zimbabwe.


Justices Ockelton, Storey and Southern, said in their judgement: “We do not accept either that all those seen as having claimed asylum in the United Kingdom will be thought to be supporters of the MDC on that account alone,” reads 88-page judgement.


“As noted earlier, the suggestion that the Zimbabwean authorities proceed on the basis that anyone with a connection with Britain must be considered a supporter of the MDC is impossible to reconcile with the significant effort put into obtaining intelligence concerning those in the United Kingdom who do support the opposition.”


The affected Zimbabweans will be coming back to a country dogged by fuel shortages and power outages and a health system delivery that has almost collapsed.


Most supermarket shelves are empty following a government blitz, which slashed prices by half in July. The country lost trillions of dollars as a result of the ill-fated price blitz.


The country’s unemployment rate currently stands at over 80% and chances are that most of the deportees will not get any jobs.


The inflation rate is estimated at above 14 000% while the Zimbabwean dollar is trading at US$1: $1 500 000 on the parallel market.


The mass exodus to the United Kingdom began after the 2000 elections and an estimated 4 million Zimbabweans are believed to be outside the country in search of greener pastures.


It is ironic that Britain will be resuming the deportations at a time when the country is preparing for elections when most of the asylum-seekers had claimed to be running away from political violence in the run-up to elections.

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