LONDON – The British government is expected tomorrow to deport more than 100 failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers and those whose visas were revoked for committing crimes in the United Kingdom.
According to the British Home Office, the targeted deportees, mostly convicts, are scheduled to be flown home on a chartered flight and more deportations are expected to continue.
Some of the people being deported are married in Brirain and are leaving children in that country. Human rights campaigners are accusing the British Home Office of violating international asylum laws.
One of the people facing deportation is Welcome Mpofu, who arrived in Britain 17 years ago, and was detained while he was on a routine immigration check up process.
“I’m currently at Brook House Detention Center. They want to deport me even if I sought asylum in 2005when I arrived here. I have been living in this country for 17 years.
“I sought asylum at Heathrow International Airport and they have not yet process my immigration papers. They detained me when I was on a routine immigration check in process. I had gone there to update information on my stay here and all of a sudden I was taken for detention. I have been checking in all these years and so I don’t know what has changed. All my family members, brothers, parents are late. I don’t know where I can go if they deport me. I have nowhere to stay in Zimbabwe.”
Several other Zimbabweans narrated their stories ranging from committing crime to just waiting for immigration papers while living in Britain. Most of them say they are disappointed about what the British government is doing.
Some Britons and non-governmental organizations are crying foul over the deportations.
In a tweet, Briton, Liz Keating, said, “Your (British Home Office) mass deportation to Zimbabwe risks banishing British residents from their homes and tearing loving parents away from Black British children. I demand you reconsider this dangerous & reckless plan now.”
The British government last year deported some Zimbabweans, who were described by the Home Office in London as convicted foreign criminals, following what it said was a historic landmark agreement between the two nations to send some Zimbabweans back home.
The Home Office said at that time that the deportees were sentenced to a combined total of over 75 years in prison for various crimes, including rape and murder.
The British government, which has deported 7,985 foreign criminals from the United Kingdom since January 2019, says it wants to keep its communities safe from criminals. Indications are that the country is planning to deport at least 150 Zimbabweans per month, especially those that have committed serious offences and failed asylum seekers.