30 July 2013:

The Appeal hearing in CM (Zimbabwe) was heard today at the Court of Appeal before Lord Justices Laws, Kitchin and Underhill. They dismissed the appeal. Legal representatives of CM (Mark Henderson, Doughty Street)  will consider the determination before deciding whether to appeal.

NN (Teachers: Matabeleland/Bulawayo: risk) Zimbabwe CG [2013] UKUT 198 (IAC) (14 May 2013)


The “geographical filter” identified in EM and Others (Returnees) Zimbabwe CG [2011] UKUT 98 (IAC) and confirmed more recently in CM (EM country guidance; disclosure) Zimbabwe CG [2013] UKUT 59 (IAC) is equally applicable to teachers. Thus, a teacher will generally not face a heightened risk on return to Zimbabwe, on account of his or her occupation or former occupation alone, if his or her destination of return is (a) rural Matabeleland North or Matabeleland South, where a returnee will in general not face a real risk of harm from Zanu-PF elements, including the security forces, even if he or she is a MDC member or supporter; or (b) Bulawayo, where the returnee will in general not face such a risk, even if he or she has a significant MDC profile

10 May 2013

The Court of Appeal (Laws LJ and Beatson LJ) today granted permission to appeal against the Upper Tribunal’s Country Guidance determination in CM (Zimbabwe), limited to Grounds 1-3 dealing with: the Tribunal’s approach to disclosure and its holding that the Secretary of State had no general obligation to give disclosure; the Tribunal’s reliance on anonymous evidence submitted by the Secretary of State; and the decision to appoint a PII Advocate in the PII process rather than a Special Advocate who would represent CM’s interests. Laws LJ stated that for the purposes of the procedure for Country Guidance cases in the Court of Appeal set out at para 77 of SG (Iraq) [2012] EWCA Civ 940, the nature of the Grounds on which the Court had granted permission meant that it was “not possible to delineate which parts of the CM Country Guidance (which reissued the EM Country Guidance) may be affected” . The Court ordered expedition and that the full hearing take place this term.

26 March 2013

Lawyers confirmed that appeal has been lodged at Court of Appeal against CM Ruling 

(While lawyers wait to hear whether their application for permission to appeal has been allowed, CM continues to be Country Guidance)

4 February 2013

CM Ruling –  EM reinstated as Country Guidance

CM (EM country guidance; disclosure) Zimbabwe CG [2012] UKUT 00059 (IAC)

  • No general duty on Secretary of State to disclose evidence in asylum cases, only not to mislead by omission
  • Overturned Country Guidance in case of EM and Others (Returnees) Zimbabwe CG [2011] UKUT 98 (IAC) reinstated with amendment to account for RT (Zimbabwe) [2012] UKSC 38
  • Elections due in 2013, though, and situation is fluid. New country information is always to be taken into account
CM (EM country guidance; disclosure) Zimbabwe CG [2013] UKUT 59 (IAC)
The Tribunal found that there is no general duty of disclosure on the Secretary of State in asylum appeals generally or Country Guidance cases in particular. A returnee to Harare will in general face no significant difficulties, if going to a low-density or medium-density area. The CG previously articulated with respect to Zimbabwe in EM was re-articulated with the italicised proviso added: whilst the socio-economic situation in high-density areas is more challenging, in general a person without ZANU-PF connections will not face significant problems there (including a “loyalty test”), unless he or she has a significant MDC profile, which might cause him or her to feature on a list of those targeted for harassment, or would otherwise engage in political activities likely to attract the adverse attention of ZANU-PF, or would be reasonably likely to engage in such activities, but for a fear of thereby coming to the adverse attention of ZANU-PF.
Click here to read the full judgment

10 October 2012

Case CM  Zimbabwe was heard by Judges Blake, Lane and Campbell of the Upper Tier Tribunal  from 2 October to 5 October  at Field House, London. The ruling is expected in early to mid November. The Judges will decide whether CM should be designated as Country Guidance.

25 July 2012

In the case of RT (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] UKSC 38 the Supreme Court has today held that asylum seekers cannot be expected to lie or dissemble in order to achieve safety in their own country. This principle applies equally to a committed political activist and to a person with no politician convictions: neither can be expected to lie.

For full account go to:


13 June 2012

The appeal against Country Guidance EM & Others has been allowed and EM has been quashed. See ruling JG, CM (Zimbabwe)- order and statement of reasons

There will be another Country Guidance hearing at the Upper Tribunal likely to take place towards the end of the year. (RN can be relied on until this new case has been heard and ruled on.)

Detentions and Removals can be challenged.

30 March 2011

Country Guidance for Zimbabwe – EM & Others

Current situation

  • On 25 March Lawyers applied for permission from the Upper Tribunal to appeal (against the determination) to the  Court of Appeal   (any attempts at removal of asylum seekers to Zimbabwe while the appeal process is ongoing should be challengeable)
  • EM & Others supersedes (takes over from)  RN as current Country Guidance (CG) but should be read alongside previous CG cases (SM, AA2, HS, RN)
  • EM & Others is based on evidence about  the situation in Zimbabwe up till end of January 2011
  • All events from February 2011 onwards could be used as fresh evidence

The full 143 page determination of EM & Others is available on our home page.

You should take legal advice about your own situation (so that your case has the best possible chance) and how EM & Others may affect you.

What does it all mean?

There are three main issues to think about:

PLACE? Where do you come from and what is your socioeconomic background?

  1. Did you come from a rural area? (If so, which part of the country?)
  2. If you come from a rural area in Matabeleland, EM considered it to be safe unless you can show some special feature to your case, e.g. that your area (in particular) had a local chief or headman under the influence of ZanuPF
  3. Did you come from an urban area? (If so, was it low density, high density or medium density?)
  4. If you came from a low density area and your family is still there, it may be very hard to prove your case in the way contemplated in RN, in the absence of evidence to show that your particular family would have problems with the regime  (remember that details of your family and background were taken during your interview and it is possible for checks to be made about whether your family still lives at the same address)
  5. If you came from a high density area – is your family still there?
  6. Some people from high density areas may not be able to return there because of:
  • property destroyed by Operation Murambatsvina
  • family and/or friends left the country
  • family members passed away

If you were returned to Zimbabwe where would you go?

[If you come from a high density area and are frightened of returning, you need  to show that you would be at risk mainly or solely on the basis that you would be returning to a high density area. You may need (in order to overcome the Tribunal's existing guidance about these areas) to show that, contrary to the Tribunal's conclusions in EM about the situation as of Jan 2011:

- Things are getting worse; - Ordinary people (apart from political activists) are being harassed and persecuted; - There will be an early election and people will be forced to show loyalty to Zanu]


-          Many Zimbabweans have been in the UK for a long time and have developed a private and/or family life – it may be possible for your lawyer to put forward Article 8 (private and/or family life issues) in support of your claim

-          If you have children (under 18) and they have been in the UK for over 7 years it may be possible to regularise your situation

-          Each case will be different so LEGAL ADVICE should BE TAKEN

-          If you have a serious criminal record it may affect your case negatively

-          The case of ZH Tanzania may be worth looking at (see www.ilpa.org.uk, click on Info service and Update sheet 35)


If you think that the situation in Zimbabwe is too dangerous for you to return safely you need to ask yourself the question: WHY?

Why is it too dangerous for you to go back?

(remember that some activists travel backwards and forwards to Zimbabwe from other countries and do not have problems)

Who has told you it is dangerous for you?

How do they know?

Have you heard anything from home since February 2011 that shows the situation has worsened?

It is not enough to say that a place is dangerous.

Evidence is needed to prove that it is dangerous.

Objective new evidence might include Newspaper reports of:

-         attacks on ordinary people in Mbare

-          herding civilians into stadiums and forcing them to sign anti-sanctions petitions

-          Soldiers moving into Matabeleland and victimising people

-          new food crisis