In spite of evidence of atrocities the plight of Zimbabwean refugees and asylum seekers remains unheard - disbelieved in fact. Survivors of the regime remain destitute in Nottingham whilst their County’s leader leads a life of opulence through violence.
No-one speaking from the Zimbabwean community believed that the elections would be fair; instead believing the elections have been rigged. This has not deterred the Zimbabwean people from queuing since early hours of Saturday morning hoping to vote out Mugabe’s party again and rebuild their decimated economy and communities. Nottingham’s Zimbabwean community want and hope to return home to their families and build their future without fear.
In a culture of disbelief, where the situation is Zimbabwe is denied by the international community, the demonstration on Saturday 29th in Nottingham’s market Square intended to send the message to the British government and British people that Zimbabweans in the UK need to be believed and supported. Mugabe’s regime hasn’t changed since he has been in power. The danger faced and the fear felt by asylum seekers and refugees in the UK is very real. The family of an opposition party member can be targeted and undoubtedly are being targeted to intimidate and ultimately weaken and destroy any opposition to Mugabe’s regime. Many fear for their families still living in Zimbabwe with some members of Nottingham’s Zimbabwean community too afraid to attend the demonstration in Market square.
With forced deportations planned by the UK government, members of Nottingham’s’ Zimbabwean community expect their own torture and death if they are sent back. Friends and political affiliates have been forcibly detained at Zimbabwe’s airports, considered traitors to Mugabe and questioned under torture. Many remaining forever ‘disappeared’. In spite of regular night raids abduction torture and murder the MDC fight on.
Britain has been watching the Zimbabwe elections unfold, Britain is aware of the atrocities of Mugabe’s dictatorship; Britain may even express its compassion for and empathise with the fear felt by those that have fled. Yet still on our sovereign’s shores those that have fled are not believed, are refused asylum and humanitarian protection and remain destitute on the streets of Nottingham and Worldwide.
According to the Human Rights Act, ‘Every person has a basic human right to a lifestyle which maintains personal independence, safeguards privacy, offers genuine and informed choices, provides opportunity to enjoy and contribute to society and enables them to have their social, cultural and individual needs met. They also have rights to protection from harm or exploitation within the context of the law and personal civil liberties.’ Except it would seem for Refugees and Asylum seekers on UK soil.