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13


“I came here to study in 2000, but I just wanted to study, finish and go back home. But after I came things turned for the worse both politically and economically. And by the time I’d finished my course things were really bad.


“By that point I was UK treasurer of the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change). It was a very influential role – mainly a fundraising and campaigning post. But there was this perception in Zimbabwe that all the people here in the UK were the ones who were funding or helping, or putting the case for the MDC. Tony Blair’s government and their’s were at loggerheads. Even someone who went on holiday to Britain would be scrutinised, so being in Britain alone was reason for not going back.


“A lot of people became politicised when they came here, too. If your mother is telling you your village was set on fire and your houses attacked, of course you will be politicised. People were getting pictured with banners saying terrible things about the Zimbabwean government. You’re angry, you’re emotional; you just pick a banner without thinking about it. Some of those people are now saying you know what, I can’t go back home, which is understandable.


“Unfortunately people in the West forget the situation in Zimbabwe. It’s like when an earthquake happens and it’s big news, but people don’t know that it’s only afterwards that the misery starts. After the violence of the 2000 and 2008 elections most people thought things would get better on their own. But things have never got better.


Throughout the year we’ve generated or contributed to 264 stories in the media, as well as appearing on 307 blogs and websites


At the end of 2009, 130 people from Zimbabwe were being supported through the asylum process in Scotland


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