The Home Office says it will resume enforced returns of Zimbabweans with no legal right to be in the UK, after a four-year moratorium.
The courts stopped deportations to Zimbabwe in 2006 when judges ruled that the country was not safe.
That legal bar was lifted two years later, but the Home Office did not resume enforced returns immediately.
Some 13,000 Zimbabweans have sought asylum in the UK over the past five years and a third were granted asylum.
It is not clear when the UK Border Agency will attempt to organize the first flights – but they are likely to follow a forthcoming ruling on conditions in the country.
Immigration minister Damian Green said the decision to resume enforced returns reflected the “improved stability in Zimbabwe since 2009 and the UK court’s view that not all Zimbabweans are in need of international protection.”
“Those facing return will join the hundreds who have returned voluntarily, responding to calls by Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to return home and help rebuild their country,” he said.
“The British Government takes its international responsibilities seriously and will always grant protection to those in genuine need, and continue to monitor events in Zimbabwe,” Green said.
Some 13,000 Zimbabweans have sought asylum in the UK over the past five years. About a third of them have been granted asylum after saying they faced persecution for opposing President Robert Mugabe.
In practice 4,000 more were given some form of legal right to remain after the courts declared the country unsafe. But the UK Zimbabwe Association said it wanted to work with the UK government to establish a voluntary return program. Amnesty International UK said the government’s decision was “premature”.
Its media director, Mike Blakemore, said: “We are dismayed at the UK Border Agency’s sudden decision to resume forcible removals of rejected asylum seekers to Zimbabwe.
Truth be told: This move by Britain to deport Zimbabweans comes on the heels of growing anti-immigration movements in Europe. Countries including Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Italy, and Britain among many others are seeing your internal policies slowly tilting in favor of anti-immigration sentiments.
It will therefore not be strange to point out that Britain’s sudden move to deport hundreds of Zimbabweans into the very Zimbabwe it accuses of violating human rights is in line with the increasing anti-immigrants movements in Europe; and Britain’s own subtle support for the anti-immigration sentiments.
Terms such as “voluntary return” and “improved stability in Zimbabwe” are now only being used by Britain’s officials to justify their apparent hidden support for the anti-immigration sentiments that have griped Europe in recent months.
Analyzing Mr. Green’s words, it becomes clear that Britain is preyed by its own trap. Hear Green: “The British Government takes its international responsibilities seriously and will always grant protection to those in genuine need, and continue to monitor events in Zimbabwe.”
The question that arises here is this: Why is it only now, in late 2010 that the British Government wants to take its international responsibilities seriously and to grant protection to those in “genuine need”?
Answering this question without any subjectivity will directly lead any reader to the right truth – that all these years, Britain accepted illegal Zimbabwean immigrants into Britain and probably allowed others to falsely seek an asylum status simply to discredit Robert Mugabe’s government and paint Mugabe as a monster [who will use all unimaginable means to silence his detractors] – while at the same time telling the world that Zimbabwe is a hopeless land.
But as it is becoming increasingly clear that Britain can not take Mugabe out of power just as Tony Blair regretted for not doing away with the Zimbabwean leader, the Zimbabweans living in Britain have become the victims and are now paying for the failure of Britain’s somewhat hidden agenda in toppling President Mugabe.