to Malawi to imprisonment and onward deportation to Zimbabwe. Well-known Zimbabwean activist, Luka Phiri, was detained while reporting at Becket House, London Bridge today, and given Removal Directions to Malawi on Thursday 15 January 2009.

Luka Phiri arrived in the UK on 5 April 2003 and claimed asylum. He was still bandaged from the torture inflicted on him in Zimbabwe. He was fleeing for his life, unable to renew his Zimbabwe passport speedily and forced into purchasing a Malawi passport to escape.

Luka Phiri produced documents to prove his Zimbabwean nationality including his original Zimbabwe metal national registration ID card; original Zimbabwe birth certificate; original school certificates; original MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) Zimbabwean card; original Zimbabwean court summons to answer charges under POSA+; original apprenticeship contracts only given to Zimbabwean citizens. His brothers and sisters provided certified copies of their Zimbabwean passports and National Registration cards (all are Zimbabwean citizens). All these documents show that Luka is, and remains, a Zimbabwean citizen.

Two different UK Immigration Judges found that Luka Phiri was Malawian because he travelled on a Malawian passport. No attention seems to have been given to his many other documents proving his Zimbabwean citizenship.

Well-known Zimbabwean activists in the UK have prepared supporting letters, statements and affidavits regarding Luka Phiri and his committed activism in the UK over the last five years. Luka has fought tirelessly to improve the situation of Zimbabweans in the UK and bring the abuses occurring in Zimbabwe to UK and international attention through TV, newspapers, talks and interviews.

When the news broke of Luka Phiri’s detention the phones started ringing. From all over the UK, Zimbabweans and UK supporters were ringing and emailing to protest about Luka’s detention.

Luka must be released now so that he can continue his work for Zimbabwe, to enable him and his fellow Zimbabweans eventually to return and help rebuild the new Zimbabwe.

Luka Phiri is a victim of the Zanu regime. Don’t send him to Malawi to imprisonment and onward deportation to Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Association, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT
Tel: 020 7549 0355; Fax: 020 7549 0356;
Contact: Sarah Harland, 07985037198
+ POSA = Public Order and Safety Act