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New Zimbabwe fact finding report


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UKBA has published a new fact finding report on the situation in Zimbabwe. It is, probably not by co-incidence, just in time for the new test case on Zimbabwe, due to begin on 20 October 2010 and in which the Immigration Advosory Service are again acting.

Presumably, UKBA will be seeking to argue that events have moved on since the RN case and the peak in the violence around the elections in 2008. My brief reading of the report suggests nothing unsurprising. On the one hand, casual political violence has declined. On the other, intimidation, repression and lack of protection continues, and there are concerns about what will happen in the run-up to the next elections, which must be held in 2012 but may be held early. It is no proper basis to go behind RN, which was based in part on properly tested oral evidence and some evidence heard in private.

UKBA is alarmingly keen on sending people back to Zimbabwe when the situation there is so unstable and there has certainly been no lasting political change that might establish what UNHCR call a durable change of circumstances. It is hardly the behaviour of a body with a genuinely inquisitorial function, as the tribunal suggested in the recent Sprakab case. Why not grant status now and then, in accordance with the Refugee Convention, review it later if there is a genuinely durable change?

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The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.


2 Responses

  1. Thanks for this info, FM.
    Do you have the test case name?

    I think the elections will be held by quarter 4 of 2011, not 2012 as stated in the article, but because of the re-run in 2008 there maybe some uncertainty.

    Even stable African countries struggle to grow, so it’s no surprise to have seen that eg. house prices in the country fell over the last decade, particularly in Harare. Foreign companies are also still very hesitant to return.

    I confirm the violence has indeed abated somewhat for the general populous, but the dire conditions should continue to help the immigration cause of the diaspora with some help from Article 8.
    The ban on dual citizenship in Zimbabwe seems to be a hot topic with them, maybe contributing to a reluctance to invest in their country’s future.

    I agree with your comment about the risks of further violence during the forthcoming elections, with campaigning starting presumably in a year or so’s time.