Bid to deport Zimbabwean asylum seeker

Shadreck Phiri, a subservient but well-known Zimbabwean who was seized by UK immigration authorities 2 weeks ago is earmarked for deportation to Malawi tonight Thursday, 11th February 2010.

He is being held at Brookhouse IRC (a detention centre at Gatwick). Phiri claimed asylum in the UK after travelling on a Malawian passport he acquired to escape the tough visa regime in Harare in February 2004. He holds no other authentic Malawian documents.

The Home Office has a policy of not returning asylum seekers directly to Zimbabwe, but most of those refused a safe haven in the UK end up there after initially being sent to Malawi. The UK Home Office is trying to use the technicality Phiri is a ‘Malawian citizen’ based on his passport of entry, despite all documentary evidence proving his Zimbabwean nationality.

Further to this, Phiri has a 5-month old baby with his Zimbabwean customary wife based in Leeds (his wife was granted refugee status in 2009), the Home Office has refused to acknowledge this relationship, denying Phiri a right to family life and a bond to his son.

Shadreck Phiri arrived in the UK in February 2004 when he managed to flee for his life after speedily purchasing a Malawian passport he used to travel to the UK, and claimed asylum. The Malawian passport he travelled on bore the name Godfrey Sisya, a name the Home Office has since referred Mr Phiri as throughout his asylum application process.

Shadreck Phiri presented documents to prove his Zimbabwean nationality to the Home Office including his original Zimbabwe metal national registration ID card; original Zimbabwe passport, Zimbabwean birth certificate; Zimbabwean school certificates; original MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) Zimbabwean card; original bank card, original Zimbabwean voters card, his mother’s Zimbabwean identity card and his parents marriage document.

He has siblings who all have Zimbabwean documents, all these documents show that Shadreck is, and remains, a Zimbabwean citizen. In spite of all this evidence, UK Immigration Judges have found that Shadreck Phiri is Malawian because he travelled on a Malawian passport. No attention seems to have been given to his many documents proving his Zimbabwean citizenship.

Since the news broke of Shadreck Phiri’s detention his wife has received countless solidarity phone calls from all over the UK protesting his detention. Phiri endeared himself to the Zimbabwean MDC community of West Yorkshire by taking part and participating in numerous meetings and gatherings in the Wakefield and Leeds areas.

Shadreck has been both a victim of the Zanu regime and the UK Home Office, he 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. Sending him to Malawi will automatically lead to imprisonment and onward deportation to Zimbabwe.

The Home Office has not proved that Malawi (whose president is a close friend of Robert Mugabe) will not extradite Phiri to Zimbabwe for his MDC involvement. This is an injustice. A petition calling for his immediate release has being signed by fellow MDC members and his Zimbabwean friends and colleagues. The UK government should listen and believe he is a Zimbabwean because he is a Zimbabwean!!

Frantic efforts to try and prevent his deportation are under way.  He will not be spared from torture and obvious detention once he gets to Zimbabwe. Through Shadreck, we have managed to track down the legitimate Malawian passport holder (living in Zimbabwe), whose document he used to enter the UK, as listed in column 2 below.

This gentleman has subsequently acquired another passport from Malawi (duplicated), as listed in column 3 below. We would challenge the Malawian authorities to dispute the information below, and hence the existence of duplicate passports.

Infor on PHIRI’s passport – in the United Kingdom Infor on SISYA’s passport – in Zimbabwe
Name on Passport Godfrey Sisya Godfrey Sisya
Date of Birth 13 Sept 1970 13 Sept 1970
Date of Issue 13 Feb 2004 15 Sept 2006
Expiry Date 13 Feb 2014 15 Sept 2016
Birth Place Kadoma, Zimbabwe Kadoma, Zimbabwe
Passport No MW060845 MW255320
Issuing Authority Lilongwe Blantyre
Personal No 429440/9 429640/9


  • Shadreck Phiri is an active member of the Wakefield MDC Branch
  • Shadreck Phiri is an active member for Community Point in Wakefield
  • Shadreck Phiri is a supporter and member and attends meetings for Restoration of Human Rights in Wakefield
  • His brother (Misheck Phiri of Gweru in Zimbabwe) is a youth activist known to the National Youth Assembly Secretary Genearal
  • Shadreck Phiri has relatives and friends from Zimbabwe who have been granted refugee status in the UK, all willing to give testimonies about his MDC involvement, life in Zimbabwe and citizenship status.
  • A lot of asylum seekers have sought and been granted refugee status in the UK using acquired passports similar to Shadreck, what makes their cases and situation so different?

Shadreck has a working phone (01293 609275) and a mobile (07941429341) which can be accessed before he is moved to Heathrow airport tonight.

Shadreck’s wife can be called on 07901503257.

Shadreck’s Wakefield MDC Chairperson can be called on 077745026850.

To all supporters, please help Shadreck by doing the following:

Fax or call Kenyan Airlines at Heathrow airport on phone 0208 283 1800 / 020 8759 7366, Fax 020 8745 5027.

Tell them Shadreck Phiri is due to be deported to Malawi tonight Thursday 11th February 2010 on KQ101 Kenya Airlines leaving at 7pm for Nairobi, and onward KQ722 for Malawi.

Shadreck is a Zimbabwean national who will be sent back to Zimbabwe by the Malawian authorities where he is likely to face serious abuse by the Zimbabwean authorities because of his involvement with MDC.

He is being forced on this flight against his will and will be very distressed and likely to cause distress to other passengers.

Fax or call Kenyan Airlines at Heathrow airport on phone 0208 283 1800 / 020 8759 7366, Fax 020 8745 5027.
Fax or call Kenyan Airlines at Heathrow airport on phone 0208 283 1800 / 020 8759 7366, Fax 020 8745 5027.