ZIMBA FACES UK DEPORTATION


A Zimbabwean is set to be deported from the UK in three days time despite insisting that his life will be in danger if forced out.

Blessing Goronga, a human rights activist and youth leader at the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)'s branch in Leicester, will be deported on 13 September.

Blessing, who is training to be a mental health nurse in the UK and lives with his two brothers in Swindon, both registered nurses, has been in the UK since 2015 but has been held in detention since 13 August.

“I fear for my life mainly because of the ongoing crackdown on opposition activists like me,” he told the Guardian from the detention centre. “I fear that if I am returned to Zimbabwe, I will be arrested, tortured or killed because I have campaigned vigorously for free, fair credible elections.

“I am one of the human rights activists who campaigned and held interviews at the Parliament House about stopping the removals of failed asylum seekers. I criticised the unfair political playing field in favour of Zanu PF. My name is all over the internet criticising the ruling party. MDC supporters and activists like me have been abducted and persecuted in Zimbabwe since the election. I am scared that if l am deported back home with my profile which is all over the internet, l will be persecuted.”

In a letter to the Home Office, the MDC confirmed that Goronga played a key part in their campaign and would be in danger if he returned to Zimbabwe.

“Blessing has been an active member in Zimbabwe and the UK. He migrated to the UK and applied for asylum fearing persecution from the state agents. MDC Alliance leaders, supporters and activists are being abducted, arrested and some have gone into hiding fearing for their lives all over the provinces,” wrote Gift Siziba, from the MDC president’s office.

“If Blessing is to be returned to Zimbabwe with his high MDC Alliance profile, his life will be in danger,” he added.

“The decision of the Home Office must be challenged and information placed before the courts to show that sending back Blessing to be subjected to political persecution is in violation of international law,” said Lloyd Kuveya, Amnesty’s Zimbabwe researcher and campaigner.


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