Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Citizen Abductions Continue in Zimbabwe

By Molly Ngavaimbe

Extracts from an Interview by ZHRO.
16th August 2019: HARARE. Police Brutality

"The abduction of of citizens of zimbabwe who are brutalized by suspected state security agents for their involvement in the planned public protests, was a violation of their human rights as enrished in the countrys constitution" said Molly

UK based Molly is concerned about renewed reports of abductions and assault of civil society members and opposition party members.

"Harassment and intimidation have no place in a democratic and pluralistic society."

She also said "President Emmerson Mnangagwa has not yet reacted to the abductions, while some people are attacking MDC for condeming the brutalization of activists by state secury agents."

"This is really exasperating! When we are busy encouraging national dialogue as a way to peacefully resolve the countrys crisis you resort to this. Only cowards, gangs of armed people, would abduct unarmed indviduals, torture and kill defencesless people. One day in this life or the next, there will be accountability...the crisis will not go away and people will not stop demanding change."

"FIX THE REAL PROBLEM" - [the economy and corruption.]

Molly continued in her statement that;

"the use of of torture in this day and age is not only regrettable but barbaric and evil..no state should ever torture its own citizens."

Monday, 22 July 2019

Mental Health and the Asylum Process

African community the most, yet we hardly talk about it. Having a mental health condition or illness can be seen as a weakness or a failure, so the tendency is to hide it until it is maybe too late for early intervention.

One of the main causes of mental breakdowns or stress related mental illness now, is the limbo or the unknown way we are living because of the immigration issues or statuses we have. This hostile environment, has had numerous results, some intentional and others, almost expected, with those affected definitely predicted.

Some of us have been here in the UK for 10 years or more, by this time we are neither British nor Zimbabwean, thus the fear of this institutionally manufactured instability and precarious existence has caused many to fall mentally unwell.

The fear that I have is that I don’t have any ties of belonging in Zimbabwe anymore and the fact that the UK, is now my home but not really home is unnerving.  The loneliness that comes with this actuality and feeling is unbearable at times, especially as most of our loved ones have passed away and we could not get the expected and necessary closure of burying a parent, a child or for some, children or siblings, which, is never easy mentally no matter ones situation.

For some, the hope of settling down with a loved one and starting a family is fading away with age.  The body clock of a Woman tends to tick rather quickly in the wrong way, and from a tender age maturity is thrust upon by life’s actualities and certainties.

The dread and uncertainty, that one gets, as one hears from peers and reads, that the situation in Zimbabwe is getting worse and the fear that today, yes today, leads to one asking.  “If one is to be unjustly deported to Zimbabwe, will one survive?”  The obvious answer is, NO!  For most of us, this is the case, however, when I am barely living here as things stand, it’s mentally crippling.

It’s scary the fact that most of us cannot seek help for fear of being judged, or, misunderstood.  The fear of deportation is mind numbingly debilitating.  Thus, this makes it (the mental health) worse and most of us are so lonely and feel so cast out, as we lose hope and are left in this state of known, unknown, unknowns, both by the British immigration system and by the brutal, unfair Zimbabwean Government.  With nowhere to belong and nowhere to call home, let us speak up, let us get up and get the help we need.  Let them know how this Limbo is not just crippling us but is a breach of our human rights.

By Lindsey Zaranyika

Friday, 24 May 2019

UK Allows Interviews by their Persecutors

My name is Bigboy Sibanda, D.O.B 28 January 1978, Home Office ref: S1142946 and I am a prominent activist, civil rights defender and an effective defender of Zimbabwe human rights in the UK.

I am totally appalled and heartbroken by illegal conduct by the Home Office for inviting Zimbabwean Officials to conduct interviews or interrogate Zimbabwean Asylum Seekers who fled political persecution from Zimbabwe. The Home Office fails again to foresee policy is terrible and wrong. It is irresponsible and a huge error by the Home Office to enlist the help of the agents of persecutors (Zimbabwean Officials) to interview the subjects (people) who fled them in the first place. This is illegal and is totally wrong according to Geneva Convention 1951 and this act is a totally gross violation of human rights of asylum seekers.

I was personally interrogated by 4 Zimbabwean officials on the 20th of June 2018 at Brook House detention in Gatwick. They had a file on me on the table. I saw my full name and date of birth on it and the file had my picture. It was frightening to have them visit me as I had no knowledge of it at all. Two of them spoke in Shona and the other two spoke in Ndebele.

They weren't coming forth with the truth as to why they visited to interview me. They said they were coming from Russia now in the UK conducting a census or a count on how many Zimbabweans are detained in the UK and the world at large and that they were heading for Canada next to do the same. They said they were there to help us and I asked “how?” they had no answer. They asked where I was born, my family and which school did I attend both Primary and Secondary. When I refused to give them any information they had the audacity to tell me I came to this country and lied about my asylum claim. They asked me to sign a form and I refused. I was left questioning what they were talking about exactly.

With me at Brook House removal Centre who had the same interviews were Mr T Nyamukondiwa, Derrick Mwanza, Lameck Sibanda, James and two other fellow Zimbabweans. Since these Zim Officials said they came from the Embassy when we had finished the interviews on the exercise yard we called the Zimbabwean Embassy and asked them if they sent anyone to conduct interviews. The Embassy denied having knowledge of it and stated that “The policy says that you have to come to the Embassy and be interviewed personally to obtain a travel document. It was terrifying because by then we thinking they could be CIOs
Brooke House where Asylum Seekers and Criminals are mixed

This was followed by strange emails that looked threatening to me a couple of months later. I kept the emails.

I have written to Honourable Members of Parliament that this breaches the data protection act, on the border-immigration-citizenship-privacy-information-notice, It says on page 5 “Please note: we will not share any of your information with authorities in your country of origin if this would put you or your family at risk” If my life wasn't in danger I would not have claimed asylum in the UK.

This illegal practice by the Home Office clearly shows that they have not learnt anything from the Windrush Scandal. It is an unquestionable proof of incompetence and gross failure to effectively discharge its fiduciary role as an entity. It also enhances the chances of grave danger for Zimbabwean asylum seekers in the UK. It is reckless, irresponsible and undermines the basic human rights protection and data protection.

I am demanding solid and meaningful answers regarding this awful practice going on about Zimbabwean Asylum Seekers in the UK by the Home Office.

Yours Human Rights Campaigner
Bigboy Sibanda

War Criminal favoured by UK Establishment

Accused of War Crimes, would struggle to become a Taxi driver in the USA, UK and Europe, under sanctions in the U.K.

Yet the U.K., Home Office (HO) which is a ministerial department of Her Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom, responsible for immigration, security and law and order. As such it is responsible for policing in England and Wales, fire and rescue services in England, and visas and immigration and the Security Service (MI5). 

The same HO is happy to parley with the one called "The Crocodile".  The new leader and hard man dictator of Zimbabwe.  The HO is putting into his "protection", people who have expressed ill feeling towards the Crocodile and his Cronies.
On 19th July 2018 We petitioned the UK Government

"Oh, he is not that bad," the HO says.  "He can be responsible for people's lives.  Simple reassurance is enough."  The same type of reassurances that were sought from the former leader of Libya (Gaddafi) or the infamous current leader of Syria (Assad). 

One might forgive some of the politicians as they could sometimes change portfolios and Ministerial briefs within a short space of time (The Right Honourable Amber Rudd).  However sometimes they do stay within the same ministry for half a decade or more, thus they get to know and understand the laws, historical contexts of the implementation of the laws, the impact on people's lives of laws passed and the actual implications on the wider public of the decisions not made and made.

The same politicians cannot be taken to task individually nor severally for decisions made whilst in office no matter the consequences even if there is loss of life as a direct result of actions or inactions, directly or indirectly.

One can excuse the politicians sometimes, however, the civil servants who work for the HO are meant to be professionals in the know.  They are meant to have teams, that actually have team meetings to discuss certain matters (legal or otherwise) and cases, to ensure that their departments are always acting within the bounds of the law, even when taking instructions from politicians, but especially when dealing with states that have been described as human rights free zones by members from all political parties and independents, who sit both in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The return of people who are clearly against ZANU PF and it's proxies to Zimbabwe, via the interviews held jointly by the HO and the Zimbabwean Embassy, on failed asylum seekers or those without leave to remain, to meet the numbers for targets set by politicians, leaves one asking the question, do lives matter more than targets or, do targets matter more than lives?

The numbers who have disappeared when deported to just Libya, Syria, Sudan and Iraq are astonishing, yet today, the same civil servants and the same department of HO insists the assurances are credible.

Are there any repercussions on their actions if somehow someone disappears, gets tortured, raped or killed in a country that has to this day not ratified UN treaties and covenants against torture and disappearances? 

If former UK Armed Forces service men, acting in a volatile theatre, dodging actual bullets, can face the courts for their actions, in the heat of the moment or not, then the question of whether or not Civil Servants can, or should also face the law, for their actions or inactions has to be debated fully.

The public good protection is an argument set out in cases, including at Den Haag.  Light as it my be for someone who has not committed a crime for over 10 years or ever, one wonders what crime they would be committing if they refused to comply with the Zimbabwean Authorities whilst they are in the UK and failed on their Asylum claim. 

Considering the fact that as recently as the week of the Royal baby Prince Charlie's birth, reports from whistle blowers in the HO were leaked to the tabloid press.  The reports suggested that some people were being trained on how to refuse claims, or being given responsibility of people's futures after less than 1 weeks training, by an individual who also had been with the HO for less than 2 months. 

Will this lack of cooperation be used as an excuse for immediate  detention and eventual deportation/removal without the right to a fair trial and an appeal, where the HO will be represented by a trained Barrister and QC, but the defendant will be on their own and without time to collect evidence?

To be known for being able to deport the likes of Abu Hamza and other terrorists is commendable, however to be known for being able to deport those fleeing the brutality of a dictator who is under UK Sanctions, one might say is more than legally and morally questionable.

Written by a ZHRO Member

Monday, 26 November 2018

Why Are the Home Office Treating People This Way

Below is a written statement from one of our members regarding his last period in "Detention" - which is in-effect, prison. At present in Zimbabwe there is a "Commission of Inquiry" into the murder of 6 civilians by the Army.


Zimbabwe is a very dangerous place if you are in opposition to the regime - this seems to count for nothing within the UK Asylum regime. It/they seems only too happy to terrorise asylum seekers here. Read on.


My name is Bigboy Sibanda, D.O.B 28 January 1978, Home Office ref: S1142946 and I am a prominent activist, civil rights defender and an effective defender of Zimbabwe human rights in the UK. I am very vocal against "President Mnangagwa" and the Zimbabwean Government and its proxies, this places me at a heightened risk of being harmed, killed or persecuted in Zimbabwe.

This is my history of Detention - for being an Asylum Seeker - not a Criminal

""I had been detained for a week at Oakington Detention Centre in 2002, [and then] detained again from 1 July 2008 to 2 March 2011 (almost 3 years) at Brook House IRC". 
 ""I was released on bail and electronically tagged for 3 years 9 months and 8 days. I reported twice a week on a Monday and a Friday for over 6 months, which got reduced to once a week, which became every Friday for over 7 years at Becket House London Bridge.""
""I was detained [yet] again on 15 of June 2018 at Brook House IRC and released on the 11 of July 2018 and continued reporting at Becket House every Friday without fail.""

The Home Office wish to deport me to Zimbabwe. A country known to the world for its human rights abuses and corruption. I suffer from severe depression and anxiety which I am being treated for. For depression, I take Mirtazapine 45mg arodispersible tablets, which is the highest dose of antidepressants tablets. I also suffer from skin condition where I require Eumovate cream and my scalp itches to the point where my hair falls out and have to use Ketozopine Shampoo. All these conditions I picked them up whilst detained at Brook House IRC. I ask where will I get medical care in Zimbabwe, besides I am a torture survivor by the brutal Zimbabwean police.

When I got detained [AGAIN, for the 4th Time] on the 19 October 2018, I pleaded with them to release me as I look after a 75 year old woman who has had a stroke, it fell into deaf ears, which shows how much they disregard human life and the fact that as a perceived journalist because of my writing of letters to the editor. I am facing real danger upon my return to Zimbabwe. There are articles online where I criticise President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Zimbabwean government and its proxies. I am also very critical of the terrorist government of Zimbabwe on social media, Twitter and Facebook.

""When I was last detained, first at Brook House IRC, Gatwick Airport for 4 days, on the fourth night at 1 am, an officer came to my cell and told me to pack as I was being transferred. I refused and went to sleep as far as I was concerned I was a detainee in detention so what was the point of moving me to another detention centre. The following morning two massive officers turned up at my door and told me to pack my property or face being removed by force, so I packed and was transferred to Harmondsworth IRC, Heathrow Airport.""

Harmondsworth IRC is a disgusting place, the Officers are horrible people, it is infested with mice, and bedbugs, there are a lot of empty cells for these reasons, as they are inhabitable. The place is a nightmare, very chaotic and scary. Detainees are bitten by bedbugs to the point of infection and as the medical care sporadic. The officers do not hesitate to use force, in fact, they seem to enjoy it. You are treated worse than animals and very often, "inmates" try to take their own lives. Food is inedible and disgusting. Whilst I was there a detainee went on hunger strike; officers didn’t even notice.
Leaking Toilet

 Sometimes visits are left unmonitored which is why Harmondsworth IRC is rife with drug use.

On the 26 October 2018, I was taken to Heathrow Airport for deportation. I was told by an officer to pack and go to reception I was being transferred. When I arrived in reception I was jumped on and surrounded by seven men (not officers). The Team Leader took control of that chaotic situation and said “just to let you know you're being deported today” I was body searched, told to shake my dreadlocks, told to open my upper lip and bottom lip, lift my tongue I was then chained without my consent, carried out like a bag of rubbish. I told them I was not given any notice or removal directions so they were smuggling me out of the country unlawfully. They answered they were just doing their job if I have any queries I should sort them out with the Home Office.

I felt like I was arrested for smuggling drugs with the way the search went and like the worst criminal the way they chained me unnecessarily as I didn't resist. I did not resist the efforts to be deported as I was aware of an infamous case of Jimmy Mubenga from Angola who was killed in 2010 at Gatwick Airport by these racist Home Office escorts. On the way to Heathrow Airport I asked them about the removal directions, they showed me a pink paper with just “Emergency Travel Document” on it and I was not allowed to touch it and read it myself. I was also told I will be flying with Kenyan Airways on flight 101.

My passport expired in 2008. and I have no I.D. I would like to know how the Home Office obtained my travelling documents? When I was detained in June 2018. I had an interview by Zimbabwean officials who said they were doing a survey on how many Zimbabweans are in detentions in the UK. They claimed they were sent by the Zimbabwean government to do a tally. They were heading for Moscow (Russia) next to do the same thing. They asked for my signature so they will get paid they said, which I refused to give as I feel they were not there for that reason, rather they were trying to make me one of the 2,500 Zimbabweans, the Home Office wished to deport, due to the "Windrush" debacle.

I wrote about 10 important emails to broadcasting co-operations in the UK while in Harmondsworth IRC because I trusted that as persons working in a broadcasting and probably with an interest to journalists, they will intervene and assist if they're able, as I am facing possible charges of treason accompanied by a death sentence if deported to Zimbabwe, in its current climate as the army is still hunting down and killing opposition members and people who are vocal against the Zimbabwean government.

If deported I am likely to be perceived as a journalist because of my writing on letters to the editor sections of various newspapers in internationally. It is the journalists who exposed "Windrush" scandal after all. I appealed for international solidarity and trusted they will do something to help. I begged them not to let me not suffer the same heartbreaking death that Jamal Khashoggi went through, in Zimbabwe.

I am definitely facing real danger if deported because of my surplus activities in the UK particularly publicity about inciting the world to reject Zimbabwe's recent Election Outcome as it was rigged. This publicity is readily available on the internet and as a result of this, I will be questioned, identified and eventually exposed to real risk in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean Militia are targeting human rights activists. I am heartbroken to tell you that my other MDC member in Zimbabwe died soon after elections because of his activism and many of them are being abducted and facing persecution, so my worry is, if I am deported to Zimbabwe, they will take me straight arrest me on arrival and charge me with treason, due to my MDC support. As you know the charge of treason carries the death penalty. which is still a method of choice in Zimbabwe!

I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that I am at a risk and real danger because of my incitement to the world to reject elections which were rigged. Zimbabwe government will definitely persecute me, harm me, detain me and kill me. Please stand up for me and do something to save my life.

I beseech you to assist me and not stand by as I am in no doubt in danger. Please do not let it be, that you could have helped me and that the next thing you hear about me is that I was killed in Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwean Militia are targeting human rights activists.

I am heartbroken that other MDC members in Zimbabwe died soon after elections because of their activism and many of them are being abducted and facing persecution, torture and death so my worry is, I step my foot in Zimbabwe, I will be one of them. I will be questioned at the Harare Airport by the CIO and never to be seen again.

""The racist Home Office do lie and fabricate travel documents on your behalf without your consent and knowledge and use underhanded tactics of fast-tracking cases.""

My fresh claim was refused before I submitted all the evidence I had in my computer as I was detained. Now I have just a matter of days to prepare for my appeal. They will say each case will be heard on its own merit, well not if you are not given a chance to fully prepare your case and be heard fully and squarely. My question is how come the racist Home Office is above the law. They seem to make up policies on a whim. Their country guidance is a farce it doesn’t reflect what's truly happening in Zimbabwe.

Racist Home Office deporting Zimbabweans is like the Nazis sending Jews to the gas chamber.

Yours in need of international protection (Refugee) and Human Rights Activist

Thank you to my ZHRO family who called and sent me phone credits. Also, the MDC family too they really made my nightmare better

Bigboy Sibanda - 25th November 2018

Saturday, 20 October 2018

A Fairer Asylum Process

 A report by Shiellah Mushunje, ZHRO Member - Peterborough.

We had a fruitful meeting concerning the real plight of Asylum Seekers. It was well attended.

Key issues discussed include: 

  • the right to work for asylum seekers
    Shiellah from ZHRO
  • detention system
  • signing in and how individuals get picked up by immigration officers
  • high legal costs for those appealing denied cases
  • housing
  • mental health issues
  • families
  • vulnerable people
  • long term illnesses

What can be done

  • Lift the ban( on employment) which has already started
  • Petition to be started on grant amnesty to all undocumented migrants so they can be self sufficient.
  • Campaign with councils to fund a programme with CAB to give free legal help to those asylum seekers , refugees and immigrants
  • Work with housing societies, to get supported housing for refugees.
  • Raise awareness through empowerment programme
  • Create sign in solidarity system which can support those signing in
  • Here in Cambridge we have one central point, the main police station.
  • Mobilisation of people with influence.

Who Came to Listen

 The meeting was attended by City Councillors,
Academics, Feminist groups, Cambridge Refugees Council, Migrants Organise, Global Justice Now, Right to Remain, Anti Racist activists, Quakers movement, Cambridge care, Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum, Church leaders.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

State Sponsored Terror - The Zimbabwe Case for classification of the ruling elite as terrorists

Governmental or "State" terror: Sometimes referred to as "terror from above", where a government terrorises its own population to control or repress them. Let's apply these issue to the regime in Zimbabwe since 1980.

Bayonets used on Civilians 1st August 2018 by the Military
These 'State Terrorist' actions usually constitute the acknowledged policy of the government, and make use of official institutions and other key propaganda outlets such as the:
  • Judiciary, 
  • Police, 
  • Military, 
  • Reserve Bank
  • The Media [TV, Radio and Newspapers.]
  • and other government agencies such as the Paracitals state institutions that are a source of looting for the elite.
Changes to legal codes permit or encourage torture, killing, or property destruction in pursuit of government policy. In Zimbabwe's case the ruling regime has not signed up to the Convention Against Torture - nor the issue of Enforced Disappearance, thus allowing free reign to intimidate opposition.

"Zimbabwe has not yet ratified three core international human rights treaties namely the Convention against Torture,  and  other  Cruel,  Inhuman  or  Degrading  Treatment  or  Punishment  (CAT),  The  International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their  Families  (CMW)  and  the  International  Convention  for  the Protection  of  all  Persons  from Enforced  Disappearance  (CED)"
 Statement of UN Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe

 Many of the Statutes in Zimbabwe are not aligned to the 2013 Constitution - making the application of "the Law" difficult to justify and certainly open to partisan interpretation.

After assuming power, official Nazi policy was aimed at the deliberate destruction of "state enemies" and the resulting intimidation of the rest of the population. Stalin's "purges" of the 1930s are examples of using the machinery of the state to terrorise a population. Now contrast these actions with the Gukurahundi Genocide - a clear policy of the purge of 'opposition' "dissidents" in Mugabe's own words.

The methods Stalin used included such actions as rigged show trials of opponents, punishing family or friends of suspected enemies of the regime, and extra-legal use of police or military force against the population. Again Mugabe's purges repeat these tactics, as do the violence, intimidation and rigging that accompanies the elections

Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons on his own Kurdish population without any particular change or expansion of policies regarding the use of force on his own citizens. They were simply used in an act of governmental terror believed to be expedient in accomplishing his goals.

State involvement in terror: These are activities where government personnel carry out operations using terror tactics. These activities may be directed against other nations' interests**, its own population, or private groups or individuals viewed as dangerous to the state. In many cases, these activities are terrorism under official sanction, although such authorisation is rarely acknowledged openly.

**The case in point is Mnangagwa's direct involvement along with the Zimbabwean Army in the Plunder of  DR Congo.

"Item 27: The key strategist for the Zimbabwean branch of the elite network is the Speaker of the Parliament and former National Security Minister, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. Mr. Mnangagwa has won strong support from senior military and intelligence officers for an aggressive policy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His key ally is a Commander of ZDF and Executive Chairman of COSLEG, General Vitalis Musunga Gava Zvinavashe. The General and his family have been involved in diamond trading and supply contracts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A long-time ally of President Mugabe, Air Marshal Perence Shiri, has been involved in military procurement and organizing air support for the pro-Kinshasa armed groups fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is also part of the inner circle of ZDF diamond traders who have turned Harare into a significant illicit diamond-trading centre."

Item 28: "Other prominent Zimbabwean members of the network include Brigadier General Sibusiso Busi Moyo, who is Director General of COSLEG. Brigadier Moyo advised both Tremalt and Oryx Natural Resources, which represented covert Zimbabwean military financial interests in negotiations with State mining companies of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Air Commodore Mike Tichafa Karakadzai is Deputy Secretary of COSLEG, directing policy and procurement. He played a key role in arranging the Tremalt cobalt and copper deal. Colonel Simpson Sikhulile Nyathi is Director of defence policy for COSLEG. The Minister of Defence and former Security Minister, Sidney Sekeramayi, coordinates with the military leadership and is a shareholder in COSLEG. The Panel has a copy of a letter from Mr. Sekeramayi thanking the Chief Executive of Oryx Natural Resources, Thamer Bin Said Ahmed Al-Shanfari, for his material and moral support during the parliamentary elections of 2000. Such contributions violate Zimbabwean law."


Historical examples include the Soviet and Iranian assassination campaigns against dissidents who had fled abroad, and Libyan and North Korean intelligence operatives downing airliners on international flights.

Another type of these activities is "death squads" or "war veterans": unofficial actions taken by officials or functionaries of a regime (such as members of police or intelligence organisations) against their own population to repress or intimidate. While these officials will not claim such activities, and disguise their participation, it is often made clear that they are acting for the state.

Keeping such activities "unofficial" permits the authorities deniability and avoids the necessity of changing legal and judicial processes to justify oppression. This is different than "pro-state" terror, which is conducted by groups or persons with no official standing and without official encouragement.
1st August 2018 Bullets and Bayonets used

While pro-state terror may result in positive outcomes for the authorities, their employment of criminal methods and lack of official standing can result in disavowal and punishment of the terrorists, depending on the morality of the regime in question.

So what is the difficulty in ascribing the 'label' "Terrorist State" to Zimbabwe? They seem to tick all the boxes, have systematically intimidated, abducted, murdered, and raped their citizens. The Army has been used for political purposes and for the personal gain of their elite ranks. The elite political group have benefited financially in their $billions - so how can Zimbabwe be considered a democracy?