Several hundred Zimbabweans in the UK demonstrated at No.10 Downing Street on Tuesday 13th of January. The singing and dancing protestors who waved placards written “Mr Brown: Allow Zimbabweans to Work and pay taxes” and Zimbabweans: deskilled destitute” exceeded the expected turnout by double. Zimbabweans in limbo were reminding Gordon Brown that “we are still here, willing to pay taxes, we need to gain skills to help us rebuild Zimbabwe”.
The demonstrators submitted 400 plus CVs to compare their skills with 6,200 jobs available in Britain. Zimbabweans are talented people, hard working, with so much skills and experience in areas listed in the government’s National Shortage Occupation List such as teaching, social work, and nursing.
Britain is not sending back Zimbabweans and it also refuses to allow thousands of Zimbabweans to work whilst they are waiting to be given leave to stay. The Home Office say they are going to take up to 2011 to resolve legacy cases, which includes most Zimbabweans. A situation which causes them to be destitute and deskilled.
MPs from all major parties including Ed Davey, Claire Short , Jon Cruddas, Kate Hoey, the Earl of Sandwich, Simon Hughes, Chris Huhne, Neil Gerrard, Annette Brooke and Rob Wilson were cheered as they escorted the delegation, which included an electrician, teacher and accountant, to submit CVs and a letter to Gordon Brown. The letter was to remind Gordon Brown that it is now 6 months since he promised to address the plight of Zimbabweans in the UK. The chairman of the MDC and Ireland thanked Citizens for Sanctuary for organising the day and he mentioned how strong we are when we come together with British people to support vulnerable refugees who want to work and build the nation.