27 April 2015
   
New Zimbabwe Header
Defiant Zuma: Why are your people here?
Nurses strike over unpaid allowances
NRZ workers in daily nationwide protests
Apartheid made South Africans sick, Zuma
Terror in Hurungwe, cries Mliswa
MDC-T arbiter-general to quell Byo squabbles
Bonus saga and Mugabe ‘memory loss’
UK: Zim cheque forger trained by prisons
MORE NEWS
Life business, CABS drive Old Mutual
Total to maintain Zim dominance
MORE BUSINESS
Financial adviser new Miss Zimbabwe
Comedian Obama tosses zingers at foes
MORE SHOWBIZ
Highlanders win, Caps United held
Chicken Inn takeover top spot
MORE SPORTS
Xenophobia: Misread narrative of brutality
SA: Notes from the ‘Rainbow Nation’
MORE OPINION
 
Prophets: Where‘s the prosperity you vowed?
The Word Our Victory: A new start
MORE COLUMNISTS
 
 
Zimbabweans top list of UK asylum seekers
23/03/2010 00:00:00
by
 
 
RELATED STORIES

ZIMBABWEANS topped the list of nationalities seeking asylum in the UK for the second year running, with a total of 7,420 asylum applications in 2009, according to the UNHCR’s latest statistical report.

The surge in asylum claims by Zimbabweans bucks the trend in overall UK asylum applications which at 29,800 represents the third lowest figure in 15 years.

The UN refugee agency’s statistical account, Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialised Countries 2009, showed that asylum applications from the troubled southern African country rose by more than 3,100 over the previous year.

The total number of Zimbabwean asylum claimants is more than double that of the second-ranked country, Afghanistan, which had 3,535 claimants. The Islamic Republic of Iran (2,125), Pakistan (2,035) and Sri Lanka (1,430) completed the top five.

A decision passed by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in the country guidance case of RN Zimbabwe in November 2008 occasioned a marked rise in the number of Zimbabweans coming forward to apply for asylum.

The appeals court found that refused asylum seekers from Zimbabwe would be at risk on return to their home country from the UK if they are not able to demonstrate loyalty to the then ruling party, Zanu PF. This favourable ruling came soon after Zimbabwe’s presidential election re-run in June 2008, which was marred by rampant violence against opposition supporters.

In March 2009, the Home Office issued a new Operational Guidance Note for its case workers on Zimbabwe which substantially restricted the criteria for granting asylum. The new policy advised that the main finding of RN Zimbabwe should no longer be followed as improvements in the country situation since the formation of the inclusive government had reduced the level of risk.

Instead, the policy advised that the first category of claims considered as being at risk is now “MDC supporters, human rights defenders and other perceived opponents of Zanu PF”. However, the appeals court still recognises RN Zimbabwe as the current country guidance.

Home Office figures also released recently showed that Zimbabwean asylum seekers registered 3,895 asylum appeals in 2009, more than 60 per cent of the total received from the Africa region in the same year. Of the 2,430 appellants granted leave to remain in the UK, a disproportionate 1,690 were Zimbabweans.



Advertisement

The number of enforced and voluntary departures from the UK totalled 64,750. Removals to Zimbabwe, including irregular migrants, in 2009 amounted to 430, with 160 of these opting to do so through assisted voluntary return.

A total of 470 Zimbabweans also found themselves entering immigration detention centres under Immigration Act powers in 2009.

As debate over dual citizenship in Zimbabwe’s constitutional reform process rages on, thousands of the country’s nationals in the UK are taking up British citizenship. Home Office figures show that Zimbabweans are the fifth highest nationality taking up British citizenship, after India, Pakistan, Iraq and Somalia. In 2008, 5,710 Zimbabweans became British citizens.

Zimbabwean law currently bars the holding of dual citizenship. An overwhelming majority of exiled Zimbabweans favour the re-introduction of dual citizenship. Having received reassurances from the MDC formations that the proposed constitution would guarantee their Zimbabwean citizenship, Zanu PF has put a damper on the hopes of non-residents by proposing that only children born in the Diaspora be allowed dual citizenship.


 
Email this to a friend Printable Version Discuss This Story
Share this article:

Digg it

Del.icio.us

Reddit

Newsvine

Nowpublic

Stumbleupon

Face Book

Myspace

Fark
 
 
 
comments powered by Disqus
 
RSS NewsTicker