HARARE – About 2 500 Zimbabweans living in the UK illegally could soon be deported back to their country of origin after the British government announced its intention to do so.
British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Catriona Lang, said Whitehall wanted to “repatriate” Zimbabwean illegals during her meeting with Vice President Kembo Mohadi at his Munhumutapa office in Harare Tuesday afternoon.
This comes as Theresa May’s government is determined to reduce the number of immigrants coming into the country by thousands.
Mohadi said Zimbabwe had no problem receiving its nationals back but would want them vetted to ensure that they are genuine Zimbabweans before taking them back.
“We also talked about the repatriation of the people that the British government said they want repatriated back to Zimbabwe,” VP Mohadi told journalists “They are standing at about 2 500 for the time being. We said we would want to vet them before they leave the UK. We want to know whether or not they are Zimbabweans or if they are not fugitives who had run away from justice.”
According to Mohadi, Zimbabwe also wants the repatriation of the remains of some Zimbabweans who died during the First Chimurenga of the 1890s. These include the heads of chiefs such as Mashayamombe, Chinengundu and others, as well those of Mbuya Nehanda whose remains are said to be in the British Natural History Museum in London.
A number of Zimbabweans settled in the west including the UK since the early 2000s fleeing both repression and economic decline. However some have been living there illegally after their asylum claims were rejected.
Also discussed during the Friday was the issue of the land reform which saw white farmers losing their farms and the issue of National Reconciliation as well as plans for Zimbabwe’s return to the Commonwealth.