HARARE – ZANU PF acting political commissioner Patrick Chinamasa said the expulsion this week of Zimbabwean citizens from Britain is a clear indication that talk of human rights abuses by the latter was a fluke.
The ruling party used every moment to mock the 14 deportees who arrived in the country on Wednesday, with veteran state journalist Reuben Barwe going a step further and referring to a bygone song aPhiri Anabwera to describe the situation of the victims.
Information from the British Immigration Service shows that foreigners who are deported are those who have committed crimes who have served their sentence and should be sent home.
Chinamasa said it was clear evidence Britain had gotten itself into trouble by lying about the human rights record in Zimbabwe.
“Basically, I can say that the chickens are coming home to settle down. It is very clear that there is a need to recognize that our citizens and the British authorities decided at the time to take false accounts and come home to do so. The story is, was and is and never was a true story.
“There has never been any persecution here. There were never any human rights abuses against our citizens here, but the narrative that suited Britons at the time was that there were abuses.
“And it is under the guise and on this basis that so many of our citizens of different characters have been wooed and tricked into traveling to Britain to prove a lie that government agencies in Zimbabwe are violating the rights of its citizens,” said an enthusiastic Chinamasa.
The Zanu PF acting chief executive said the event showed the British government had acknowledged its mistakes and was only secretly apologizing by starting a process that requires cooperation between the two sides.
“What I think is happening now is a realization that they have to admit that what they’ve done isn’t sustainable and they have to show there’s a new beginning.
“I read a change of mind, a change of policy from the UK government, I may be wrong, but I read a change of policy from the UK government that they might wish to see a thaw relationship to this development.
“Obviously there must have been a good connection between the British and Zimbabwean governments. It could show a thawing of relations, a realization that the narrative on the land issue was wrong.
“They are our fellow citizens. We have an obligation to accommodate our own citizens, whatever their character. It could happen to any of us if you have very bad-tempered people or even criminals.
“When they return, we have a moral obligation to welcome and welcome them and if necessary rehabilitate them so that they feel part of society,” the former finance minister said.
Chinamasa dismissed previous reports that the government was prosecuting deported citizens because of their political affiliation. He said the deportees receive special care to help them integrate into society.
“They know clearly from the bottom of their hearts that when they told the UK authorities they were seeking asylum for the wrong reasons, they knew it was not true. And they also know that they are not threatened if they come from anyone.
“We don’t even know who they are, maybe the British have a better record of those of our citizens who are in their country, but we don’t know who they are and they have never been a threat to anybody in this country,” he said.
According to insiders, some within Zanu PF are urging that returnees be sent to the Chitepo School of Ideology and given special training for their integration.