“I am scared. I have to go to meetings with the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO). They are trying to find out why I was claiming asylum.”

Published by the UK Independent:  The men who were sent to Zimbabwe on a charter flight last month are homeless and living in fear of the authorities, it has emerged, as the Home Office prepares to send another mass evacuation flight into the country.

Granthshala has spoken to two deportees who are living on the streets of the Zimbabwean cities of Harare and Bulawayo and “begging for food” after being forcibly removed along with 13 others on a controversial flight to the southern African nation on July 21 are.
>Meanwhile, campaigners are asking the Home Office to stop Wednesday’s second evacuation flight to Zimbabwe. Dozens of Zimbabweans are said to have been detained and held in expulsion centers in recent weeks, including those who have been in the UK since they were young children.

The charter flight to Zimbabwe was scheduled to take off with about 50 people on 21 July, but this was reduced to 14 following legal challenges as well as the Covid self-isolation, which meant that many people had to leave for the earlier days and was cancelled within hours. .

“I’m struggling. It’s really terrible. I have nowhere to live. I have to ask strangers for food. Luckily people have good hearts,” he said.

The Zimbabwean, who was deported in 2018 on the basis of a theft offense for which he was sentenced to 28 months, said he had no family in Zimbabwe and only his sister in the UK. “My sister calls me every day, but she can’t do much. I just walk around,” he said.

Another deportee, a 43-year-old man, who was deported last month on the basis of a 13-month prison sentence in 2012, said that since completing a 10-day quarantine upon arrival, he has been living in a tent on the streets.

The Zimbabwean national sent The Independent a photograph of the shed where he is sleeping ….Supplied

The father of five, whose children all live in the UK, said: “I had no money, no ID, nothing. Just a pair of shoes and the clothes I was wearing. My living conditions Impossible. I have relatives in the UK trying to find a way to send me money and help me, but everyone has their own problems too.

“I still know some friends in Zimbabwe from whom I ask for food. it’s so embarrassing. I am coming from a rich country and I have to beg for food.”

The man, who did not wish to be named for fear of reprisal from Zimbabwean authorities, said he had requested asylum in the UK in 2012 on the grounds that he had previously been attacked by Zimbabwean forces because of his political beliefs, but his claim was rejected due to limited evidence.

“I am scared. I have to go to meetings with the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO). They are trying to find out why I was claiming asylum.”

Asked what he intended to do, the man said: “I need to get it back for my kids. People who are risking their lives crossing the Channel from Calais and all that.” – I’ll be there soon.

In another case, 29-year-old Tendai Goremano, who was deported last month despite living in Britain since the age of eight, said that if a friend hadn’t been able to accommodate him he would “probably be dead by now”. “.

“I was lucky I knew someone. If it wasn’t for him I would have been dead by now. I would be homeless. I don’t know what I would have done. My whole family is in the UK, my friends in Zimbabwe I have no one but you.”

Mr. Goremano was pursuing a degree in electronic engineering when he was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in 2012 after a fight in a nightclub. He has not been involved in crime since then, but was barred from working or studying after his release from prison in 2013.

“I committed a crime when I was younger. As far as I know, I never learned this stuff in Zimbabwe, I learned it in the UK. I’ve been to jail, served time for the crime, my Learned from mistakes, but I am still paying for it. I am not allowed to carry on with my life,” he said.

“We had news cameras in our faces when we got off the plane. It felt terrible. There was a murderer and a rapist on the flight, so now they have put all of us in this category. Immediately, people hear my acknowledgment of English and they think straight about that video. I am alienated I live outside “

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) called on the government to suspend deportation flights until it “fully addresses the miscarriage of justice that has occurred within the immigration system”.

A spokesman said: “The TUC is concerned that the Home Office does not adequately investigate the circumstances of the people they targeted for deportation. Many have no family, social or financial ties to the countries to which they are referred. To be deported, and they will be put at risk of persecution, segregation and poverty.”

Detention Action director Bella Sanke said it was “morally repugnant” that people who were brought to the UK as children were being deported to the homeless and destitute, and described the expulsion to Zimbabwe. , “a country still rife with oppression and human rights abuses”, as a “bizarre mission”.

Among those facing expulsion this week is Bradford’s Bruce Mopofu, who in 2010 was given a deportation order based on a 22-month sentence for robbery. He hasn’t committed any crime since. He is currently at the Brooke House Removal Center along with dozens of other Zimbabweans.

The 29-year-old, who moved to Britain with his nine-year-old family and whose rugby club in Wibsey is raising funds for his legal fees, said Granthshala: “I’m scared. I don’t know what I’ll do there. I don’t speak the language, I don’t know anyone. I don’t have money.

“I learned from my mistake 10 years ago. If I was in and out of jail I would understand, but I have changed. It is not fair for them to judge me on the mistake I made 10 years ago.”

Zoe Gardner, policy and advocacy manager at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), said it was wrong to “deport” people who called……

Source: www.independent.co.uk