Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Feel powerless on Zimbabwe? Do something now -
Courtesy of CAP -
In the last week a small but significant dent was made in the government's policy of destitution. Gordon Brown removed the immediate threat of deportation hanging over the approximately 11,000 Zimbabweans refused asylum in the UK.
At Prime Minister's questions, Gordon Brown said the government is "actively looking at what we can do to support Zimbabweans in this country who are failed asylum seekers, who cannot work and who are prevented from leaving the UK through no fault of their own."
Whilst he and the Foreign Office have been actively advocating regime change, the Home Office and UK Borders Agency have just as actively been trying to starve thousands of people back to Zimbabwe. One arm of the UK Government wants to build the capacity of exiled Zimbabwean civil society, but another arm is working hard to denigrate the skills of the future of leaders by making them destitute and banning them from working. It is tragic that it has taken the gruesome events in Zimbabwe to force the government to think again about its policy.
While this is in the news this is an excellent time for you to contact the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith. We have a special website that gives you a template and automatically emails it to her. Please take few minutes to do this here.
Also if you also have time, write to the Foreign Secretary to make the point to him that Britain's foreign policy interests and responsibilities are best served by letting Zimbabweans work. Do that here.
Thank you for your efforts,
Strike while the iron is hot.
(Church Action on Poverty)
PS. If you want to know what destitution is like read this week's blog from Revd Canon Nick Sagovsky, of Westminster Abbey, who is living on the food and income of somebody refused asylum.