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UK Border Agency to resume enforced returns to Zimbabwe

Following a written ministerial statement today by the Minister for Immigration, the UK Border Agency will be resuming enforced returns of failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe.

Enforced returns to Zimbabwe were suspended in September 2006 because the unstable political situation in the country meant that their safety could not be guaranteed.

But since the formation of the Inclusive Government in 2009, the country is now considered stable enough to receive returnees.

This means that all Zimbabweans living in the UK illegally now face enforced removal.

Damian Green, the Minister for Immigration, said:

‘We have today announced the resumption of enforced returns to Zimbabwe for failed asylum seekers judged by the independent courts to have no right to remain in the UK.

‘This decision reflects the improved stability in Zimbabwe since 2009 and the UK court’s view that not all Zimbabweans are in need of international protection.

‘Those facing return will join the hundreds who have returned voluntarily, responding to calls by Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to return home and help rebuild their country.

‘The British government takes its international responsibilities seriously and will always grant protection to those in genuine need, and continue to monitor events in Zimbabwe.’

The UK Border Agency has helped hundreds of Zimbabweans to return home voluntarily since 2006. These packages will continue to be made available.

This news has been released by the UK Border Agency shortly after the public outcry over the X-Factor contestant Gamu Nhengu being refused permission to remain in the UK and facing being forced to return to Zimbabwe, although there is nothing to suggest that the two stories are related.