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UK Government Letter to Zimbabweans in the UK PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 23 October 2010 20:32

Home Office, UK Border Agency
Central Operations
Country Analysis and Returns Strategy
Floor 7, St Anne House
20-26 Wellesley Road
Croydon CR0 9XB
Tel +44 (0) 203 014 0302
Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Web www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk  

14 October 2010  

Dear Zimbabweans  

WRITTEN MINISTERIAL STATEMENT ON ZIMBABWE

Ministers have today made a written statement to Parliament announcing that we will be resuming enforced returns of failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe 

The announcement reflects the positive changes in Zimbabwe and will end the anomaly of failed asylum seekers from Zimbabwe being treated differently to those of all other countries when it comes to enforcing returns. The Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the Unified Tribunal Service (IAC) will be hearing in the near future a further country guidance case on the general safety of return to Zimbabwe. For practical reasons we will not actually enforce any returns until after the country guidance judgment has been handed down. When we do recommence enforced removals they will be taken forward in a carefully planned and phased way.  

There have been some positive changes in the situation in Zimbabwe since the formation of the Inclusive Government in 2009. The indiscriminate violence which marred the elections of 2008 has abated, the economy is growing, the political situation is relatively stable and the humanitarian situation has greatly improved over the last 18 months. Zimbabwe is for many people a safer and better place to live today than it was in 2008. There is no doubt that political persecution and abuses of human rights persist in Zimbabwe. However, these abuses are more targeted than previously and not all Zimbabweans are equally affected.  

We take our international responsibilities seriously and we will continue to grant protection to those Zimbabweans that need it. However it is essential that we maintain the principle that each application for protection is considered on its individual merits and that returns are taken forward on a similar basis. The courts have found that not all Zimbabweans are in need of international protection. In order to maintain the integrity of our asylum system it is important that we draw a distinction between economic migrants and those in need of international protection.  

We will continue to provide assistance to those who choose to return voluntarily enabling people to support themselves and rebuild Zimbabwe, which hundreds of Zimbabweans who have already safely returned voluntarily are doing. For those who choose not to do so, it becomes necessary to enforce their departure. We believe that conditions on the ground in Zimbabwe are now stable enough for us to begin to do that. We keep the situation in Zimbabwe under review and should conditions on the ground change significantly, we will review our policy.  

We expect many Zimbabweans living in the UK to have questions about the resumption of enforced returns. We plan to hold a Zimbabwean Diaspora Open Meeting on Wednesday 27 October at Lancaster House, Stable Yard, St James, London SW1A 1BB between 17:00 and 18:00pm 

Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora are welcome to attend, but numbers will be limited and registration is required. To ensure as many questions are dealt with on the day, we would welcome questions in advance. If you wish to attend this event, please e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with your full name, affiliation and questions. Entry to the event will be refused to those who have not registered.  

Yours faithfully

PHIL DOUGLAS
Director, Appeals and Removals

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