Colonel Christian Katsande (Rtd)

‘Zimbabwean Ambassador to UK blocks deportation of Zanu-PF linked criminals’

ZIMBABWE’S Ambassador to the UK, Colonel Christian Katsande (Rtd) has been accused of protecting Zanu-PF linked individuals from being deported back to Zimbabwe after he allegedly declined to sign their deportation papers.

The British Home Office last Wednesday deported 14 Zimbabwean nationals who have been convicted of serious crimes, amid indications that a hundred Zimbabweans will be deported per month over the next several months.

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Pressure groups in the UK, compromised mainly of opposition parties MDC Alliance and Zapu, have issued a statement saying while they do not support any criminals, the Zimbabwean Ambassador to the UK “corruptly” blocked the deportation of four ruling party members and are demanding an explanation.

The pressure groups would not mention the said individuals. The parties further say that Zimbabwe remains unsafe to deportees who escaped the Robert Mugabe regime, despite assertions by both the Zimbabwean and UK authorities that the deported individuals faced no political risk under President Mnangagwa’s government.

Read their full statement we publish below:

Zimbabwe Community Appeal Group position on the current immigration situation of Zimbabweans in the UK.

For many Zimbabweans, this is the current situation that Zimbabweans in the UK find themselves in once more at the hands of the Zanu PF propaganda machine. Zimbabweans in the UK, not just the MDC A, have concerns for the many pending removals which are scheduled as identified in the leaked communique between the British Embassy in Harare and the Zanu PF Government. This identifies a target of 100 REMOVALS A MONTH.

How will these be identified and where will they come from?

MDCA, ZHRO, ROHR and ZAPU are not inclined to support any murderers, rapists, and other ‘criminals’, rather they worked together to avail the needed support for those that were detained without notice so that each one of them gets due process before any permanent outcome is decided.

We understand Ms Priti Patel’s assertion that criminals should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But the current deportees have already served their sentences or are within their sentence in respect of the very few Zimbabwean murderers affected by this Home Office Policy change.

Whilst not condoning murderers, rapists, and Child molesters, many covered by the “criminal” blanket description have committed minor crimes, and many committed some kind of fraud to be able to work in the UK. The UK Asylum system is deliberately complex, convoluted, and expensive to navigate. Many of these so-called criminals have fallen foul of the discrimination in the UK’s HO.

In addition, let us not forget how dangerous Zimbabwe is for those deemed as “against Zanu PF.”Or unable [by CIO evidence] to be able to swear allegiance to Zanu PF.

What we also know is that it is alleged that the Zimbabwean Ambassador to the UK Mr C Katsande corruptly and deliberately refused to sign travel documents of four individuals that were due deportation. Why are these individuals special and why did the Zanu PF appointed Ambassador refuse to sign these travel documents?

This needs to be investigated and answers delivered to the Zimbabwean community and the home office who had identified these individuals as potential criminal deportees.

Zimbabwe remains unsafe under the despotic Zanu PF government. It is now worse under Emmerson Mnangagwa than it was under the leadership of Robert Mugabe. The Zanu PF Government continues to be insensitive to its citizens as persecutions of activists, abductions and arbitrary arrests, economic meltdowns, corruption, a failed health system and a poorly funded educational system persist in Zimbabwe.

More importantly the MDCA and the groups named above, remain concerned about the many hardworking Zimbabweans who are at risk of removal into the hands of the Zanu PF cabal. This is due to the current ‘draconian’ immigration and asylum system and apparently, directed at the Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK.

This ‘at risk’ population includes teachers, bus drivers, engineers, researchers and holders of various degrees and qualifications some of which were acquired in the UK.

Many Zimbabweans have a record of being hardworking, diligent, and are full of integrity in their jobs and in how they have conducted themselves in the UK. Many Zimbabweans have worked for the NHS and other institutions for many, many years.

The contributions of Zimbabweans in the UK should not be overshadowed by a few bad apples and the efforts of Zanu PF propaganda to fit a narrative of criminality and prejudice.

There are many asylum seekers and unregularized Zimbabweans who have conducted themselves with integrity. Some have suffered needlessly because of a difficult immigration system.

They have suffered mental health issues, physical sickness, many have not worked for years, they have no bank accounts, no housing and cannot go to work. The system has been created to be systemically racist, discriminatory, and hostile to the Zimbabweans.

Some have been in the system for years, some as many as 20 years. Many of these people have had the prime years of their lives simply ripped from them, have nothing to show for their lives and hence have not self-actualised.

Why is the Asylum & Immigration system carrying able-bodied, qualified, and healthy individuals, that can speak fluent English but not cherishing them? Instead, they should be identified, regularised, and enabled to contribute to the British society, as most wish to do.

These individuals should not be overshadowed by a political ploy of a false propaganda narrative instituted by Zanu PF to ‘paint’ them as hardened criminals, murderers and rapists.

Many Zanu PF officials including Patrick Chinamasa claim that the British have now realised that they were wrong about Zanu PF. As usual, Zanu PF have used this crisis to spin a political narrative and have not taken a single moment to consider the ruin they themselves have driven Zimbabwe into.

While criminals are prosecuted to the full extent of the law, other good-natured Zimbabweans should be identified and rewarded through a change in policy and country guidance. □

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