A woman from Zimbabwe has been deported by UK BA to Malawi and is now held captive by police in Kenya.
Her friends and sister Zimbabwean citizens, fear for her. ‘It is inhuman what is happening to her,’ said Patience Sazangwe who is herself a political asylum seeker. ‘Is it because she is a woman and an asylum seeker that people think they can do what they want to her?’
Close friend Shelly Davidson said: ‘It is heartbreaking. I’m close to tears each time one of the men who say they are prison officers, phones. They won’t let her speak in her own language and she is crying all the time. She is in hell. The men say she needs around £1000 to be released. She tells me she’s been raped three times so far and made to sleep in a mortuary. I don’t know how the UK BA can send her to Malawi when she is from Zimbabwe.’
Both friends consider it is a way to massage the deportation figures as Britain now considers it safe for UK citizens to travel to Zimbabwe and is therefore sending back asylum seekers from Zimbabwe but doing it indirectly via Malawi. The European Union advises people not to go to Zimbabwe.
Agnes Namakonde, who lived in Edinburgh and reported regularly to the UK BA authorities, was detained on 14 October. She was on a Kenya Airways flight on 18 October to Malawi.
On arrival the Malawi authorities imprisoned Agnes. They took her from Malawi to Zimbabwe where she was refused entry in Nyamapande. The reason was because she had been refused asylum in the UK. She was taken back to Malawi and made to sleep in a mortuary where she was raped. A local woman befriended her and gave her a mobile phone. She was advised to go to Kenya . But police in Kenya caught her without any documentation except the deportation letter from Zimbabwe.
Agnes is now believed by her friends to be in prison at Kakuma Police Station in Kenya or Lumba Prison. The guards call almost daily to her friends in Scotland demanding money. Shelly believes Agnes has been raped three times, at least, while in Kenya.
Said Patience: ‘When any of us goes to sign in as we have to for UKBA, we are afraid. We could be next to disappear in the way Agnes has been made to disappear.’
Beware! The Government is encouraging you to buy – via the internet or back street shops – polluted herbal preparations ‘spiked’ with banned substances such as toxic heavy metals which have caused liver failure and long-term health problems.
As the European Union tightens the rules on the supply of herbal products, their sale, except for a small number of products for ‘mild illnesses’, will be banned from 2011.
Since 2000, the Government have been consulting on how to bring the 2,500 UK qualified herbalists and traditional medical practitioners (Chinese, Tibetan and Ayurveda) under statutory regulation.
The first consultation, which was published in 2005, had an overwhelming response in favour of statutory regulation.
This most recent consultation process, which closes to public comment on November 16, has been slammed for being far too complicated, with herbalists and their patients unable to respond to the obscure consultation questionnaire. This could affect the chances of its success. If the Government fail to proceed with statutory regulation, practitioners here will lose the right to supply their traditional preparations and medicines.
Then the six million Britons who use herbal practitioners may be forced to scan the internet, which abounds with substandard and potentially dangerous products.
‘We fear if the Government refuses statutory regulation, we will see a black market in herbal products, with unlicensed, potentially dangerous remedies’. Said Dr Michael Dixon, of the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health
The UK Department of Health said currently there was currently no timeline for further action on a regulatory scheme.
Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon’s department said they are working towards a solution that ensures public protection, and ‘Any regulatory proposals must meet the specific needs of the people of Scotland’.