Legislator for Tottenham Retired Honorable David Lammy and Hillary James Wedgwood Benn of Leeds said though the deportation of criminals is good for the UK, it is the manner in which authorities in the former colonial power have disregarded the plight of the migrants especially in light of Covid-19.
In email communications made to Zimbabwe Leeds Community (ZLC) executive committee member and PHD candidate Chris Goshomi, the two legislators said they shared the concerns of Zimbabweans in the UK with regards to the deportations.
Goshomi recently petitioned the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and several UK MPs over the deportations of Zimbabweans, most of them with criminal records in that country, which has seen the release of one of the detainees.
“I do not oppose the policy of deporting dangerous criminals. However, a robust system is needed to ensure people are not unlawfully removed. This is why the Shadow Immigration Minister and others often raise these matters with the Home Office, as happened ahead of the deportation flight to Zimbabwe on 21 July” wrote Lammy in an email.
“Thanks for your letter which I have read. I share your concerns, as do a number of MPs. Best wishes, Hilary Benn MP,” read the email from Benn.
Goshomi, who petitioned the British government over the deportation said he is overwhelmed by the progress they have made so far to address the plight of fellow Zimbabweans in the UK.
“We are delighted that we are having people released from the detention centers, which is a great sign that parliament is also seized with the matter and we have also had some responses from other influential religious leaders like the Bishop of Canterbury who share our concerns and the Scottish Government is also looking into the case,” said Goshomi.
In one of the voicemails released by Goshomi, a detainee Isaac Nyika Kurangwa thanked the ZLC for their efforts in advocating for his release which saw him being reunited with his UK family.
To date, 15 returnees have been received by the Zimbabwean government, as more are expected in the near future.