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Opinions of Thursday, 24 September 2009

Columnist: Agbodza, Kwami

Open Letter to British High Commissioner

.... on Refund of Refused UK-Visa Fees

Dr. Nicholas Westcott
British High Commissioner
British High Commission
Osu Link
off Gamel Abdul Nasser Avenue
PO Box 296
Accra
Ghana

His Excellency Dr. Westcott,

Re: Refund of Refused UK-Visa Fees

In this centenary of Kwame Nkrumah's birth, as we commemorate his 100th Anniversary, I would like to call on you and the Labour Government of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to take steps to end the practice of keeping the visa fees of failed Ghanaian entry visa applicants to the UK.

His Excellency, you know and I know that The Home Office of The United Kingdom is permitted under The Race Relations Amendment Act 2000 to discriminate on the basis of race and that race is the central basis on which visa applications to the United Kingdom are refused by visa clearance officers including those with black faces.

The UK Border Agency is responsible for securing the United Kingdom borders and controlling migration in the United Kingdom. It manages border control for the United Kingdom, enforcing immigration and customs regulations. It also considers applications for permission to enter or stay in the United Kingdom, citizenship and asylum. In the course of its work it has not failed to raid homes of Africans at dawn and even hospitals in order to subject them to your illegitimate immigration laws. Indeed Ghanaians have to endure continuing humiliations at the hand of Agency officials at your ports of entry, while all is done to pretend that race is not the central criterion for visa denials and the rule that we are always up to no good unless we can prove otherwise.

Because we cannot change our race as Ghanaians and because we cannot change the colour of our skin, the racial exclusion policy your visa clearance officers are implementing and operating backed by the law means that the vast majority of Ghanaians applying for a UK visa will be denied one and their legitimate human rights will continue to be “legally” violated.

In view of this racist policy, I think that to keep the visa fees of these same Ghanaians amounts to operating an illegitimate visa racketeering system calculated to maximise the visa income of your operations in Ghana. So please take steps to end the practice of keeping the visa fees of failed Ghanaian entry visa applicants to the UK and tell Ghanaians the truth that they will simply never be allowed to enter the UK and that is that.

In the meantime I call on you to publish up to date statistics for total UK visa applicants, visa refusals and visa income generated in Ghana from UK visa fees.

The humanitarian gesture of ending this bad and inhuman practice will be welcomed by all Ghanaians and by Ghana as a nation that you yourself say is a highly-indebted and poor country.

To you I wish fraternal Centenary Greetings of Peace and Goodwill!

Your Most Truly, Kwami Christian Agbodza, MA

Note Kwami Agbodza is the Regional Secretary for Education for CPP UK & Ireland. He writes in a personal capacity.

He can be found on http://www.facebook.com/kwami.agbodza; his email address is Kwami_agbodza@yahoo.co.uk. He is also a director of The Great Trust, http://www.thegreattrust.org/