End Forced Deportations to Zimbabwe
Demonstrate outside Sheffield Town Hall
Wednesday 25th July 12noon to 1pm
Stop another Windrush Scandal
According to New Zimbabwe.com, British ambassador to Zimbabwe, Catriona Laing, in February 2018 told Zimbabwean Deputy President Kembo Mohadi that her government intended to deport 2,500 “illegal Zimbabweans” in that country. The announcement came as Theresa May said that her government was “determined to reduce the number of immigrants coming into the country by thousands”. Very few people have been deported to Zimbabwe over the past ten years.
There are now reports of Zimbabwe Embassy staff going to detention centres to interview any Zimbabwe nationals there to give them travel documents so that they can be forcibly deported. Some people have already been deported to a Zimbabwe where the same regime is in power even though Mugabe has gone. Their lives are in danger.
As Marian Machekanyanga, an exiled trade unionist from Zimbabwe and SYMAAG Executive Committee member, explained to us “nothing has changed for Zimbabwean people here or at home. Mnangagwa is still ZANU-PF…there are no changes and no democracy”.
Zimbabwe refugees here for years are facing deportation rather than extension to their right to safety here in the UK
Tell Sajid Javid the Home Secretary to stop deporting Zimbabwe refugees. This is Theresa May’s Hostile Environment yet again bringing misery and danger to families seeking protection from persecution and torture in the UK
A recent investigation by John Grayson and Violet Dickenson of SYMAAG revealed that Sheffield City Council are treating homeless asylum seeking children unlawfully and disrespectfully. These children and families have No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) and are being placed by the Council for long periods in unsuitable and potentially dangerous Bed and Breakfast accommodation.
Carol from the Earl Marshall hostel explained to us how waiting for toilets and showers were the worst times for the families. She said some of the men “asked us for money and called us racist names. Every time we had to wait, then we had to clean the toilet, so we could use it.”
For 2 years we have tried to get Sheffield City Council – which declared Sheffield the first City of Sanctuary – to stop this practice of housing women and young children routinely and for long periods in shared hostels with vulnerable homeless men
On 7 February 2018, SYMAAG members went along to a Sheffield City Council meeting. We presented a petition, asked questions and stated our demands
1) To immediately stop placing homeless families in B&B’s
2) To immediately stop placing homeless lone mothers and children (in particular survivors of trafficking and/or domestic violence) in potentially unsafe temporary emergency accommodation with single men.
3)To immediately institute a programme to renovate or replace the council’s existing temporary accommodation for homeless people which council reports have declared ‘not fit for purpose’
Councillor Drayton in the Council meeting and afterwards did not give any undertakings on any of these points and talked of ‘monitoring’ and refused to stop using the Earl Marshall for families.
Now Sheffield City Council has finished the long break for elections, SYMAAG will be back at the Council meeting at Sheffield Town Hall Wednesday 4 July at 2pm to ask further questions to force the Council to treat homeless asylum children with NRPF just like any other homeless children in Sheffield.
We invite you to come with us. Ask the Council a question from the public gallery and lobby your councillor. We’ll be meeting at The Sanctuary, Chapel Walk at 1pm beforehand.