What We Now Know


Undocumented Zimbabweans living in the UK now know:

  • that the UK Government is bent on enforcing removals of undocumented Zimbabweans from the UK.

  • that such removals are intended regardless of the returnee’s length of residence in the UK.

  • that undocumented Zimbabweans who arrived in the UK, even some 15 to 17years ago,  have in the past months received correspondence from the Home office requiring presentation of documents and information to enable re-documentation for removal purposes.

  • that the Immigration Rules, have since July 2012 made it even harder for adults with lengthy residence to be permitted to remain in the UK. As a starting point and for current purposes, the requirement to show continuous residence of 20years applies to those who have remained in the UK for some time with irregular immigration status.    

  • that adults with less than 20years residence in the UK are required to evidence very significant obstacles to reintegration in the country of return- again a very high threshold to meet.  

  • That unless an individual with irregular status has a British child living in the UK or a child with over 7years continuous residence in the UK, or a Partner with lawful residence in the UK, single adults seeking to regularise their status in the UK face an uphill battle.

  • that for some failed asylum seekers, their length of residence in the UK between 2002 and 2010 was prolonged due to a deliberate UK policy position of not enforcing removals in light of human rights violations in Zimbabwe.

  • that lack of a valid Zimbabwean passport or possession of an expired one is no longer a hinderance to removal.  Why? Because the UK and Zimbabwean governments have, working together, ironed out the previous obstacles to enforcing removal presented by a non- consenting undocumented returnee without a valid national passport.

  • that a returnees’ consent is no longer required to enable re-documentation for removal purposes.  Zimbabwean Officials are now permitted to interview intended returnees face -to- face so as to ascertain their nationality and identity for redocumentation purposes.

  • that the same Zimbabwean authority officials feared by Zimbabwean nationals are allowed to interview them prior to return.

  • that the events of August 2018,  then those of January 2019  and continuing in Zimbabwe,  evidencing a breakdown of the rule law, killing of actual or perceived protesters, violence and rape by the Zimbabwean army and police, appear not to have appealed to the UK Government’s sense of humanity in relation to the safety and dignity of those it intends to return. Why? Because there is no suspension of removals or deportations enabling the UK Government to assess the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe and possible repercussions to those intended to be forcibly removed there from the UK.