By Nompumelelo Sibanda
MDC Alliance supporters yesterday staged a demonstration outside the Zimbabwean Embassy in London against the planned deportation of a second batch of convicted criminals by the UK Home Office.
The protestors who comprised MDC Alliance members in the UK said the deportees would be subjected to human rights violations and persecution by the Zimbabwe Government. They claimed that most of the failed asylum seekers escaped the Zanu-PF Government due to persecution for supporting the opposition.
They danced and chanted songs denouncing Zanu-PF after the Zimbabwe Government struck a deal with the UK Government for the deportations to proceed.
Among the protesters were members of the relatively new pressure group called Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe, which is affiliated to the party led by Nelson Chamisa.
The ROHR also held a solidarity march in Scotland this Tuesday against the planned departure of the second charter plane to Harare.
The UK Government argues that Zimbabwe was now safe for the failed asylum seekers to live, saying in any case the unwanted Zimbabweans had abused British hospitality by dabbling in violent crime including murder, rape and drug dealing.
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The UK two weeks ago sent back to Zimbabwe 14 asylum seekers out of an initial batch of 50. The rest could not be deported after they secured a last minute reprieve pending court hearing, while others were saved by Covid-19 outbreaks at a holding facility near Gatwick Airport.
The 14 who arrived in Harare on 22 July have since been released to their families after ending their mandatory 10-day quarantine at a Government facility in Darwendale near Norton. □