Zimbabwean Loses Irish Asylum Bid
10 May 2024
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By Diplomatic Correspondent- A Zimbabwean National has lost an asylum claim he was seeking with the Irish government because of inconsistencies in his application.

The High Court in Ireland found the Zimbabwean national short of substantial grounds upon which to seek the judicial review of a finding made against him by the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT).

The Zimbabwean national left Zimbabwe in 2008 and moved to South Africa. He resided there for 14 years until March 2022 and then came to Ireland.

He sought international protection on 28 March 2022. He was interviewed, completed the application for international protection questionnaire and attended an interview with the International Protection Office on 20 October 2022.

He received the IPO decision on 24 January 2023 refusing him a refugee status declaration, a subsidiary protection declaration and permission to remain. He then lodged a notice of appeal on 10 February 2023.

However, The High Court has now found that the International Protection Appeals Tribunal was correct in its initial decision.

As part of his appeal process the Zimbabwean national claimed that he was in fear of ‘being found’ by the Zimbabwean Government and the ruling Zanu PF party due to the fact that he had posted critical anti-government comments on Twitter, although as the High Court observed, legal submissions submitted to the IPAT make reference to the man posting anti-government material  online in one sentence only.

The International Protection Office in its assessment of his application rejected his claim to a fear of being found on the basis that the applicant had also voluntarily disclosed on his LinkedIn account his personal details, including where he lived and worked in Zimbabwe and South Africa, that he was laid off from his job in South Africa in 2021 and that he was now resident in Ireland.

The IPO found that this publicly disclosed information undermined his claim that he was in fear of being found by Zanu PF or the Zimbabwean authorities in South Africa or elsewhere. The High Court agreed.

With respect to the applicants online posts on Twitter the High Court decision pointed to the fact that the Appellant’s Twitter account was not in his name and “there was no evidence  offered that anyone would know or be able to detect who was the author of the  tweets he posted using a pseudonym or that his accounts were seen or monitored by any Government officials, Zanu PF members or otherwise.”