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Life Tough for 'Undocumented' Zimbabweans in Britain, South Africa

FILE: An immigration official addresses Zimbabweans outside an immigration office in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, December 15, 2010, as they attempt to become legal.

Zimbabweans living in Britain are concerned that the recently elected conservative party may kick out foreigners without proper documents, who have stayed in that country for many years under the Labour Party, which appeared to sympathize with their predicament.

The Labour Party had apparently blocked the deportation of Zimbabweans with indications that they were not happy with the tense political situation in that country.

At the same time, Zimbabweans living in South Africa are still finding it hard to regularize their status in South Africa. Some are currently detained at Lindela holding camp, waiting for deportation.

For perspective, Studio 7 spoke with Ephraim Tapa, leader of the Zimbabwe Vigil (UK) and founding member of Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe, and Ngqabutho Mabhena, chairman of an organization, Zimbabweans Community Living in South Africa, catering for the needs of Zimbabweans in that country.

Tapa said life is tough for Zimbabweans without proper immigration papers in Britain.

Mabhena concured, noting that some of those caught without proper documents suffer in the hands of some security agents, who demand money and at times torture them.

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