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

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