Zimbabwean woman deported from UK stranded in Kenya airport
Posted by Administrator on March 5, 2012
Agnes Alexander Namakonje, 43, has been in the country since October 19 last year when she was deported on the mistaken identity that she was being a Kenyan or Malawian citizen. She has since been held for three months in a jail in Lodwar for allegedly being in Kenya illegally and has refused persistent attempts by Kenyan immigration officers to force her to register as a refugee.
Agnes claims her problems started when UK Border Authority officials deported her claiming she was Rebecca Chitanga whose passport photo they claimed resembled her. When they brought her to Kenya, the documents presented indicated she was not Kenyan. The Malawian government where she was taken also confirmed she was not their national. In Zimbabwe, the government confirmed she was their national but that she had been granted asylum in the UK in 1995.
From Zimbabwe, the UK immigration officials took her to South Africa who turned them away. They came back to Kenya where they dumped her and she was taken into prison for being in Kenya illegally. Two weeks ago, Agnes said a Good Samaritan in Lodwar helped her find her way to Nairobi and she managed to get into the airport. She has since been living at the airport bathing in the public washrooms, sleeping in the floor of the arrival lounge and eating food given to her by wellwishers and employees at the airport.
Yesterday, Agnes narrated a harrowing tale of how she sought the help of the UK high commission to provide her with documents to return home as she had been mistakenly deported. She said the embassy has refused to listen to her plea and have told her to register as a refugee. “I will die here at the airport. No one wants to help me, even those who mistook my identity,” said Agnes who claimed she went to the UK in 1995 after her British born husband was killed by Robert Mugabe’s army veterans who forcefully took their farm and other property.
Agnes said she got married to a Scottish national David Alexander in July last year. Three months after the wedding, she was arrested and deported under the mistaken identity she was Chitanga. “Why can’t those responsible for my deportation take me back to Zimbabwe to verify who l am. I renounced my Zimbabwean citizenship. I am not Kenyan or Malawian. I am not Chitanga!” a distraught Agnes said during the interview.
She said she had been able to keep in touch with her husband who had told her the UK authorities had been prevailing on him to denounce her. “He has been very supportive. I just want to go back and be with him,” she said. She alleged that several Immigration officers have been asking her to pay them Sh250,000 to allow her to get temporary travel documents which will enable her to fly to the UK. She has however refused and insists the UK authorities must take responsibility and fly her back to the UK. – ZimDiaspora
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