Zimbabwe tops list of UK asylum seekers

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Zimbabweans topped the list of nationalities seeking asylum in the United Kingdom for the second year running, with a total of 7 420 asylum applications in 2009, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR’s) lastest statistics report. 

The account, written in a booklet called Asylum Levels and trends in Industrialised Countries 2009, showed that asylum applications from Zimbabwe rose by more than 3 100 over the previous year. 

The total number of Zimbabwe asylum claimants is more than double that of the second-placed country, Afghanistan, which had 3 535 claimants. The Islamic republic of Iran (2 125), Pakistan (2 035) and Sri Lanka (1 430) completed the top five. 

Home Office figures in the UK also released recently showed that Zimbabwean asylum seekers registered 3 895 asylum appeals in 2009, more than 60 percent of the total received from the African region in the same year. 

Of the 2 430 appelants granted leave to remain in the United Kingdom, a disproportionate 1 690 were Zimbabweans. 

Zimbabwe used to be colony of Britain but broke away on April 18, 1980, when independence came in after Zanu PF kingpin and First Secretary, President Robert Mugabe, won a landslide victory. 

Zimbabweans have about three million people living outside the country, with the bulk said to be in the UK and South Africa. Radio VOP

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