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By Staff Reporter

THE British government was last night accused of "signing the death warrants" of two Zimbabwean twins facing deportation to South Africa on Tuesday evening (tonight).

A third Zimbabwean, Tambudzai Kembo, is also facing deportation to Malawi after using that country's passport.

Although deportations to Zimbabwe have temporarily been halted pending a High Court decision on the safety of deportees, Patience and Priscilla Zondi from Bulawayo used South African passports to enter Britain, and technically are not Zimbabwean.

Patricia has been booked on an Emirates Airline passenger jet leaving London's Heathrow Airport for Johannesburg via Dubai at 5pm, while Patience has been booked on another flight at 10.30pm, also Tuesday.

Noble Sibanda, spokesman for the United Network of Detained Zimbabweans which led a hunger strike at the UK's detention centers accused the British government of being insincere.

He said: "In the case of Patience and Patricia, they have produced birth certificates and drivers' licenses to prove that they are indeed Zimbabweans, but the Home Office appears to have ignored that evidence.

"We are appalled at this development and believe that the British government is being insincere in its dealings. On one side they agree to stop deportations, and on another they are deporting Zimbabweans to countries where they have neither relatives nor friends."

Sibanda said once deported to South Africa and Malawi, the Zimbabweans would immediately be arrested and passed onto Zimbabwean authorities and face possible torture.

Due to a tight visa regime in Harare, many Zimbabweans have found it easier to enter neighbouring countries which need no visa requirement for travel to Britain where they buy passports before making their way to London.

No comment could be obtained from the Home Office last night, but New understands an urgent legal challenge will be filed to block the deportations.

The Home Office has agreed to stop all deportations to Zimbabwe pending the outcome of a High Court case in which the Refugee Council and other human rights groups have brought test cases and asked the court to declare Zimbabwe an unsafe country to deport people.

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