UK Home Minister Unapologetic For Deporting Zimbabweans

Spread This News

By Alois Vinga

UNITED Kingdom Home Office Secretary Priti Patel says he remains unapologetic for overseeing the deportation of 14 Zimbabwean this week.

She made the remarks in response to an enquiry over the deportations made by five UK legislators Louise Haigh, Paul Blomfield, Clive Bets, Olivia Blake, Gill Furniss.

A total of 14 Zimbabwean nationals arrived in Zimbabwe Thursday morning following their deportation from the UK.

Reports suggest more will face the same fate in recent months.

However, Patel told the legislators the deported Zimbabweans were foreign national offenders (FNOs) once convicted and sentenced for serious offences including murder rape, sexual offences against children, robbery and other violent crimes.

“I remain entirely unapologetic about the need to protect the victims and remove dangerous foreign national offenders who have caused harm on the streets of the United Kingdom. The Labour Party voted against the government legislation to speed up the removal of people with no right to be in the United Kingdom and to deter illegal entry,” she said.

“The Shadow Foreign Secretary suggested a Labour government would not work with the French to deter channel crossings despite the huge risk to life as a result of criminal people smugglers.

“It is sad, but perhaps not surprising that the Labour Party is standing on the side of the criminal minority instead of the victims affected by their heinous crimes,” Patel said.

She underscored that under the UK Borders Act 2007, the Home Secretary was authorised to issue deportation orders for foreign nationals who have received a custodial sentence of at least 12 months unless an exception applies.

She maintained that his key was to protect members of the public.

Added Patel: “Individuals are only returned to their country of origin when Home Office and where applicable, the courts deem it safe to do so.

“By definition, they do not need protection and are not at risk in return. Each individual assessment is made against the background of the latest available country of origin information and relevant case law.”

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean government had welcomed the 14 deportees and said they would have the same opportunities as those availed to other citizens where over 90% of the population is unemployed.

“We welcome these fellow citizens home. They will be safe and the same opportunities availed to everyone else will be available to them,” said Information Ministry secretary Nick Mangwana.