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Published: January 5, 2013
Zimbabweans in the United Kingdom’s West Yorkshire county are staging a mass demonstration against quick and accelerated deportations by the UK government.
This comes following concerns raised by human right organisations at the manner in which Zimbabweans were being swiftly apprehended and deported without due process. The UK government’s Home Office department has been blamed for forcibly deporting many Zimbos at a sensitive time when it was clear Zimbabwe’s political climate would be worsening following the upcoming elections in March 2013.
Unverified reports also state that asylum seekers are being drugged by UK Border Agency officials if they resist deportation, and also being threatened with the same while in detention.
The UK government is further accused of carelessly deporting people to a country they yet also refuse to lift sanctions on saying that the rule of law is yet to be observed.
“On making fresh claim, reports are coming forth where asylum seekers are not allowed to submit old evidence that was submitted on their first claim, but the same evidence seem to surface on reasons of refusal of the fresh claim. The failed asylum seekers are threatened with inhuman treatment if they resist deportation, some being drugged or threatened with sedation when put on plane home, also they refuse people with right to appeal and tell people to leave the house in three days with nowhere to go and with no relatives,” they said in a statement.
The agency is also taking too long to make decisions, leaving Zimbabweans in financial and emotional limbo.
“UKBA takes time to make decisions and at the same time not given financial support and one is not allowed to work…..those who are helped are given vouchers and they are not useful in terms of using public transport as they wants cash.”
The organisers called on all Zimbabweans to come to Leeds and raise their voices against what they called British injustice.
“We are kindly inviting everyone to come. It is for all Zimbabweans regardless of your political affiliations; and all other nations are also welcome. A selected team was sent to speak to the police senior representative about the peaceful demonstration in place and all the arrangements and changes will be communicated as such to everyone involved.”
The organisers said it was wrong for failed asylum seekers to be sent back to a country where economic sanctions are still in place.
“Why does it (UK) not start with the lifting of sanctions to show that you now trust Robert Mugabe? The fact that they still stand reveals your inconsistency in dealing with issues relating to Zimbabweans.,” said the statement.
A petition will be handed over to the Border Agency in Leeds. Demonstration starts at 11.30am to 13.30pm
For more information contact the following:
Kevin Ngwenya: 07717206366
Herbert Moyo: 07401056973
Gertrude Kugura: 07446841318
Siphiwe Ncube: 07809671648
Sunduza Phakathi: 07787322720