SOMETIMES democracy is costly.
Britain has experienced four general elections in three years.
Each election has brought no significant change to the foreign policy, but it has changed the face of immigration law.
This has affected many Zimbabweans who are either on visas or are completely illegal.
Laws affecting becoming British have been tightened while each and every new face tightens the laws against immigrants.
The next few weeks aren’t just about door knockers and debate.
They could also affect Zimbabweans staying in the UK.
There is no doubt life for immigrants will be harder regardless of who wins the elections.
British political parties seemed to have used immigrants as their winning point; the more the candidate pledges horror for immigrants, the more votes he/she gets.
The politicians have perfected their art of parcelling out hatred towards immigrants as a winning ticket.
In the US, President Donald Trump used foreigners as his red carpet to the White House.
The extent of racism in the US was exposed.
Unfortunately, UK and Europe have borrowed the skill and the foreigners have become the sacrificial lambs.
The surprise snap elections announcement had immediate effect on the pound, the stock market and investment portfolios.
Since this election will affect the economy, the foreigner will be blamed even for the long winter.
The snap elections spell doom for Zimbabweans and all other immigrants in the UK.
The morning trumpet has been blown on the next general election so unexpectedly that the report has been felt throughout the country.
Within minutes of the announcement, spin doctors of different parties have turned the heat on the punching bags — the foreigners.
So, Zimbabweans with limited leave can remain and those without have had their heads put on the platter.
But the first tangible response was a swift rally in the pound, putting pressure on the UK stock market and equally blaming the immigrants for it.
It should be noted that: “The rising pound helped heap pressure on the UK stock market, which was already on the back foot thanks to declining iron ore prices hitting the resources sector.
Of course, the benchmark FTSE 100 is far from a pure barometer of the perceived health of the UK, given the global nature of the companies that constitute the index.”
This is technical and never considered in the campaigning strategy.
The rumbles in the economy felt all over are solved by deporting the foreigners.
In this desperation by the politicians, Zimbabweans are pushed into a life of uncertainty and fear of deportation.
So the snap elections indeed affect the lives of Zimbabweans, together with other immigrants in the UK.
Zimbabweans may be wondering whether they can capitalise on political events.
Yet given the recent unexpected election and referendum outcomes, many will be nervous of gambling on this.
The election is an excuse and distraction that human rights for the immigrants are crushed while watchdogs concentrate on elections. Zimbabweans should look beyond elections and prepare for the worst.
The big risk Zimbabweans face from an election is that they let it disrupt their financial plans and plunge them in a pool of uncertainty.
In the short term, immigration policy could be driven by political events, but Zimbabwean immigrants should not look beyond any noise as politicians hit the campaign trail.
Nevertheless, there could be opportunities ahead.
General elections create uncertainty and people do not like that.
“Given that we are seeing an increase in geo-political uncertainty, Zimbabweans should prepare for increased volatility over the coming weeks.
Deportations will be increased and Zimbabweans will be used as statistics of a successful immigration policy.
Politics is one of the most important considerations in making immigration decisions.
Political decisions affect immigration policy which, in turn, impact the lives of Zimbabweans in the UK and their families who fully depend on them.
In an increasingly divided UK, elections are proving to have a big impact on immigrants.
However, many commentators argue it is too dangerous to plan a strategy around the election.
It is important for Zimbabweans to look beyond political events and make plans based on their needs rather than focus on the rhetoric of political banter.
In the UK, Zimbabweans will consider it sensible to invest at home given the current national and even international uncertainty.
However, any sudden movements can carry risk – even when they seem safe.
Despite the animosity towards foreigners, the last thing one should be doing is making any hasty decisions just because Theresa May has called a general election.
So, unless Zimbabweans think the election result due on June 9 will lead to Government policies that could directly and materially change the attitude towards foreigners, then they are probably better off doing as little as possible in the worrying field.
Diversify, diversify and diversify!
For Zimbabweans, the course of this election will only underline the need for self-sufficiency and sorting out your home ‘at home’.
Wise move is about managing the risks of the unexpected.
The mass deportation of Zimbabweans seems so unlikely, but so did the UK referendum and US presidential election results last year.
The results of these elections have no serious change on the attitude towards the foreigners.
No matter who wins, the foreigner will be the punching bag and a scapegoat.
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SOMETIMES democracy is costly.