UNITED KINGDOM – An asylum seeking singer claims he would face torture and violence if he was sent back to Zimbabwe – because of a CD he made criticising President Robert Mugabe.
A tribunal heard Prince Mapetosa Mazwi, who has been living in Coventry, had made a musical CD in this country criticising Mugabe’s controversial regime.
His legal adviser, Andrew Nyamayaro, wanted to play the “Voice of Freedom” CD to Immigration and Asylum judge Mr H S Sangha as the drummer sought asylum at an Immigration and Asylum Tribunal in Birmingham.
But Mr Sangha said the courtroom did not have the facilities.
Mr Sangha said: ‘‘We don’t even know if the voice on the CD if that of Mr Mazwi. It could be anyone.”
Mr Nyamayaro said the voice was that of the appellant and that he would be at risk if sent back to Zimbabwe as a result of the making the CD.
Mr Mazwi of Stoke Heath, Coventry, said he was a member of a group called the Movement for Democratic Change, which opposed the Government.
He said he had appeared on Twitter denouncing the Zimbabwe Government after making the CD in the UK.
The tribunal was told that Mr Mazwi sang controversial lyrics on the CD apart from playing the drums with his group. He complained he had been tortured and beaten up by security forces because of his protests shortly before fleeing to the UK.
Mr Mazwi appealed against a Home Office recommendation that his asylum seeking application should be refused after warning that he faced further torture and violence if sent back home.
“After being attacked and tortured in Zimbabwe I went into hiding, staying with friends, before coming to England,” he said. “I moved from place to place in Zimbabwe to avoid detection.”
Mr Mazwi made the CD in 2010. He had been a member of the opposition group since 1987 and said he had attended protest rallies.
Mr John Proctor, representing the Home Office, questioned whether Mr Mazwi would be at risk if he was sent back to Zimbabwe.
“The Home Office previously refused to grant Mr Mazwi asylum which has prompted his appeal today,” said Mr Proctor.
Mr Sangha said he would made a decision at a later date.
President Mugabe is now 91 and has been control of an alleged “violent and tumultuous” regime since 1987 despite unsuccessful attempts to remove him.
Zimbabwe is said to have one of the poorest economic situations in the world. Coventry Telegraph