In an Report made exclusively to the popular Website, a Senior Official from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) confirmed that 7 420 Zimbabweans had sought asylum in the UK.
“Yes this is very true,” he said in an interview.”In fact this was the highest figure for that year from all the asylum seekers to the UK.”
The figure was more than double that of the nest nation of asylum seekers to the UK whose capital city is London, among the fashion capitals of the world, and very popular with Africans.
The UK is regularly bashed by President Robert Mugabe for among, other things, trying to topple his legitimate government using the Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as “its puppets”.
According to the report, Zimbabwe topped the list, followed by Afghanistan with 3 535 asylum seekers, and the Islamic Republic of Iran with 2 125 asylum seekers.
The UNHCR has warned, however, that individuals who are simply passing through a nation are not “refugees” but “asylum seekers” because they must first seek asylum “officially” from that country’s Department of Immigration before they can be called “refugees”.
The UNHCR Report covers 44 industrialised countries which provided monthly data to its Geneva-based Head Office.
The report shows that joining Zimbabwe in the top 10 asylum seekers to the UK in 2009, were Pakistan with 2 035 people, Sri Lanka (1 430), China (1 415), Eritrea (1 405), and Somalia (1 080).
Somalians are now flocking to South Africa through Zimbabwe crossing at the Nyamapanda Border Post with Mozambique as their point of entry en-route to “wealthy” Jozi.
The Zimbabwe Immigration authorities say the Somalians and Ethiopians have not requested for asylum and are simply passing through going to what they think is the promised land of “milk and honey” according to the Bible.
The UNHCR said other asylum seekers to the UK in 2009 which made it onto the top 10 were Iraq with 990 asylum seekers and Nigeria with 820.
The UNHCR Report also reveals that Zimbabwe came 10th on the list of asylum seekers to New Zealand.
This list was led by Fiji with 45 asylum seekers.
Nine Zimbabweans sought asylum in New Zealand in 2009, closely following Slovakia which had 13 asylum seekers to that country.