Lovemore brings message to Ipswich

A ZIMBABWEAN asylum seeker is today sending his message about the need for democratic change in his homeland across the Ipswich airwaves after being given a spot on local radio.

A ZIMBABWEAN asylum seeker is today sending his message about the need for democratic change in his homeland across the Ipswich airwaves after being given a spot on local radio.

The government is assessing 31-year-old Lovemore Muzadzi's claim for asylum but as his case goes through the legal channels he is spreading news about the situation in his country to the people of Ipswich.

The father-of-four was housed in the town by the National Asylum Support Service after he fled Zimbabwe in January last year, claiming to have been targeted by thugs associated with President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party.

Mr Muzadzi, who says he has been an activist for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change since its launch, is the voice behind Ipswich Community Radio's Afro Beat show on 105.7fm, Monday's from 2pm to 4pm.

“I was directed to CSV by the Refugee Council. They told me there was a place which did courses for asylum seekers,” he said.

“One of my hobbies that I loved back home was interviewing people and public speaking.

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“Then ICR gave me a slot. When I am doing my show I am always talking about the situation in Zimbabwe.

“I want to return but not as early as now because change doesn't come in one day.”

Mr Muzadzi left his home in the Sunningdale area of the Zimbabwean capital Harare on the pretence of visiting the UK in his role as an export director for a steel company. Instead when he arrived he asked to stay permanently.

“When I came here I was fleeing Zimbabwe,” he said.

“I am an MDC supporter. I was an activist for them in Zimbabwe. I am still an activist for them. I felt that I had to sacrifice just like a soldier to make things better.

“I used to participate in fundraising, when we were asked to donate we would donate and I used to attend meetings.

“But my trouble started in 2000. There were some beatings which you used to absorb but it became clear in 2002 that it was now brutal, the government had changed its policy.

“I couldn't stand it anymore. When they tortured me and they poured an acid substance over me I knew if I stayed I could be killed.”

As Zimbabwe prepares to hold a run-off presidential election in July, Mr Muzadzi told of his hope of one day returning to a changed country.

“Sometimes I do shed tears because I am far away from my family,” he said.

“The election results are a giant step forward and have shown the world that Zimbabwe wants change.”

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