Zimbabwean students expelled for Mugabe ties
Nick Butterly and Andrew Probyn
The Age (Melbourne)
August 17, 2007
EIGHT university students whose parents work for the despotic regime of Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe are to be kicked out of Australia.
The students, most of whom are studying at Perth universities, were told by the Immigration Department yesterday that their student visas would be revoked.
Most of the students' visas expire in 2009 or 2010. Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer said he had taken the step to introduce new sanctions because Mr Mugabe had continued to display disregard for democracy and human rights and was pursuing economic policies that were destroying the African nation.
Australia's so-called “smart” sanctions against Zimbabwe ban officials and supporters of the Mugabe regime from visiting Australia or transferring money to and from Australia.
But until now the sanctions had not prevented the children of people responsible for Zimbabwe's political and economic situation from studying here.
“These new measures will now prevent these individuals from giving their families the kind of education their policies have denied the ordinary people of Zimbabwe,” Mr Downer said. Under Mr Mugabe's increasingly brutal 27-year-old regime, thousands of political opponents have been tortured or killed, inflation has reached 10,000 per cent and unemployment is 80 per cent.
Life expectancy for males in Zimbabwe has fallen from 60 in 1990 to 37. For females it is 34.