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Journalist narrates deportation from Zimbabwe to Nairobi as coup looms

By HILARY KIMUYU November 16th, 2017 2 min read

A Nairobi-based foreign journalist on Thursday narrated on how she was among seven others deported back moments after landing in Zimbabwe.

Tamera Griffin, a correspondent for American news website BuzzFeed, said she and the others were all held up at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport immigration after 20 minutes.

“I landed in Zim around 12:30am. Majority of the folks in immigration line were journalists. I believe there were nine of us; two got through. The rest were all sent back. We still do not have our passports,” Ms Griffin wrote on her Twitter handle.


After being held for a while and without anyone talking to them, they were finally told they have to be sent back to their country of origin.

She says she was hardly questioned and that all they asked her was who she works for.

“They asked who I worked for and if I was there for business, that’s it. Next thing I know they are rushing me to sign a form so we can go back.”

As she continued to question the immigration official why she was being deported she adds, “The manager told the guy holding my form to indicate on it that I refused to sign. I never refused, just had questions,” which she denies refusing to sign.

“I left Nairobi for #Zimbabwe at 9pm. It’s now 5:48am and I’m back in Nairobi. Zimbabwe immigration refused my entry and sent me back.”

In the last 24 hours, Zimbabwe has been in turmoil after the military placed its long serving President Robert Mugabe under house arrest and detained senior government officials in what many are expecting to be the beginning of a transition of power.

Military officials have denied carrying out a coup. They took over the state TV and broadcast a message insisting the president and his wife were “secure”, adding that they were targeting a ring of government plotters following a power struggle that saw the vice-president flee the country last week.