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Destination UK: countries of origin
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Asylum applications from Zimbabwe doubled between 2000-2001. The figure for last year was 2,085 applications. Over recent years the number of people applying for asylum from Zimbabwe has gone from just a few 10s of people and moved into the thousands.

In 2000, 150 applicants from Zimbabwe were allowed to stay in the UK by the authorities.

Country background:

In recent years Zimbabwe has descended from relative stability into a turbulent state as an economic crisis and often violent land reform process has robbed the country of its prosperity.

In 2002 President Robert Mugabe was declared winner of the presidential elections, considered seriously flawed by the opposition and foreign observers.

Human rights group, Amnesty International says that political violence and human rights abuses increased dramatically in the run-up to the elections.

Political dissent is often brutally repressed and press freedoms have been dramatically curtailed. Members of the Movement for Democratic Change have often been on the receiving end of violence, sometimes with the collusion of the police.

Land occupations by supporters of President Mugabe have seen many white farmers lose their land, as the government pursues a policy of forcible land reform.

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