Concern for UK Zim activist set to be deported
By Alex Bell
02 April 2012
There is rising concern for the safety of a UK based Zimbabwean activist, who faces possible deportation back home.
Frazer Muzondo, a Zim asylum seeker and an MDC-T activist, was detained last week during his routine report to Border Agency officials in London. He is now being held at the Colnbrook Removal Centre, ahead of possible deportation.
Muzondo is best known in the UK as a vocal ZANU PF critic and regular participant in a number of Zimbabwean activism activities, like the London based Zimbabwe Vigil. He is also a regular attendant at MDC meetings in Nottingham.
He has also written regular articles for the UK’s MDC structures and for the Nottingham Zimbabwean Community Network (NZCZ) since 2008, after the chaotic election period that resulted in the current coalition government.
Though his articles have been well received in activism circles, it is the same material that fellow activists say will land Muzondo in serious trouble if he is deported.
Most recently, Muzondo wrote a piece published by the NZCZ titled: “ZANU PF in self-enrichment mode”, which singled out Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, Army Commander Constantine Chiwenga and Robert Mugabe as the chief architects of Zimbabwe’s economic crisis. He has also previously used his articles to slam ZANU PF for stealing the 2008 election and forcing the MDC into a unity structure that kept Mugabe in power.
The Chairman of the Nottingham Zimbabwe Community Network, Regis Manyanya, told SW Radio Africa on Monday that Muzondo is a “fearless critic,” who faces possible retribution if he was sent back. He explained that Muzondo has been in the process of appealing the UK government’s decision to remove him after being notified in February, but the appeal process has not been completed.
He added: “There is a political game being played and when big elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. In this case, people like Frazer are the grass.”
“We are headed towards an election in Zimbabwe and the situation is volatile, especially for those who are critical of the regime. Frazer wants regime change, he has always wanted regime change, so to send him back now just makes no sense,” Manyanya said.
Manyanya was also critical of the UK Border Agency for what he called ‘harassment’ and ‘victimisation’ of Zimbabwean citizens in the UK, saying he believes that the situation is getting worse.
“I believe that this is a deliberate strategy to weaken Zimbabweans as much as possible and force them to take the voluntary return packages or face deportation,” Manyanya said.
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