End of pipedream for asylum seekers from Zimbabwe

Some to return home due to decline in politically-motivated violence
15th March 2011: It is the end of a pipedream for so many asylum seekers from Zimbabwe. They would soon be finding themselves packing their bags for journey back home following a decline in politically-motivated violence there.
Immigration minister Damian Green made it clear the policy on Zimbabwean asylum seekers would be brought into line with that on every other country.

The assertion follows a ruling by asylum judges on the absence of evidence that those being returned would generally be at risk of harm.

The UK Border Agency at the same time clarified each case would still be considered on their individual merits and with enormous care.

The agency’s head of immigration Matthew Coats said they welcome the court’s findings.

The UKBA would continue to consider all asylum applications from Zimbabwe on their individual merits and with enormous care.

Coats said they preferred people here illegally to leave voluntarily and were offering an assistance package to help them re-integrate into their home country. For those choosing not to do so, it became necessary to enforce their departure.

The president of the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, Justice Blake, said failed asylum seekers could be returned in three out of the four cases under consideration. Those being returned to Harare would in general face no significant difficulties.

The Judge said those returning to the rural areas of Matabeleland North or Matabeleland South would also generally be highly unlikely to face significant difficulty from Zanu-PF elements, including the security forces.

The Judge at the same time cautioned the situation was not the same across the whole country and was likely to be different for those without Zanu-PF connections returning to other rural areas.

The Judge added teachers faced an enhanced or heightened risk, and added each case would need to be judged on an individual basis.

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