The United Kingdom’s Home Office has been condemned for working with Zimbabwe’s Government to accelerate the deportation of asylum seekers despite high-profile human rights abuses in the country.
Two asylum seekers were detained at the Home Office’s Vulcan House building on Monday allegedly in preparation for deportation. One of them, Victor Mujakachi, went to the UK as a postgraduate student in 2003. Zimbabwean authorities issued a warrant for his arrest in 2008 after he made critical comments online about the re-election of Mugabe. He subsequently had three applications for asylum turned down.
Over the last few months, Zimbabweans across the UK have been asked to attend interviews at Home Office centres. When they attended they found Zimbabwean government officials waiting to interview them. When contacted by The Guardian the UK’s Home Office said “routine re-documentation interviews” often take place to establish the identity of an individual so that travel documentation can be issued. In a recent petition to the Home Office, UK-based members of the the MDC, called on the government to give amnesty to all Zimbabweans who had been in the UK more than 10 years.