Thousands sign petition to prevent Sheffield ex-banker volunteer’s deportation to Zimbabwe

Victor Mujakachi,

SHEFFIELD, UK – Thousands of people have backed a petition to prevent a Sheffield volunteer being deported to Zimbabwe, where it is feared his life would be at risk.

Victor Mujakachi, who has lived in the city since arriving as a postgraduate student in 2003, was detained yesterday when reporting at the Home Office’s Vulcan House centre and is still being held.

The father-of-two, who has a son and grandson living in Sheffield, has been an outspoken critic of successive Zimbabwean governments.

He has been seeking asylum in the UK since a warrant for his arrest was issued by the Zimbabwean authorities in 2008 but three applications have been turned down.

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His asylum status prevents the former banker from working in the UK so he has instead devoted his time in Sheffield to volunteering for various causes, including the charities Football Unites, Racism Divides and Homeless and Rootless at Christmas, earning several awards for his good work.

ASSIST Sheffield, which supports destitute asylum seekers and is another of the charities for which Victor has volunteered, says it is ‘deeply concerned about the safety of our friend’.

It has launched a petition calling on the Home Office to release Mr Mujakachi, which has been signed more than 3,000 times within 24 hours. Lyndsey McLellan, the charity’s community and events officer, who started the petition, said: “Victor has distinguished himself through his voluntary work with numerous community, voluntary and church groups here in Sheffield, making many friends in the process, and it’s great to see people rallying around him.

“He’s been an outspoken critic of successive Zimbabwean governments and has expressed worries for his safety, should he be returned, especially given the recent brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters in the country.

“We’re deeply concerned for his safety should he be forcibly returned to Zimbabwe.” – Source: The Star