Home Office sends Zimbabwean boy aged 4, letter telling him he will be deported
LONDON, UK – A Zimbabwean boy aged four has been sent a letter from the Home Office informing him that he and his mother are facing deportation.
British-born Cher Siyamuanya, and his mother Netsui Karota, 28, received separate letters telling them they were ‘liable to removal’ from the UK.
But Ms Karota fears if she is returned to her homeland of Zimbabwe she will be executed or jailed for speaking out against Robert Mugabe’s brutal regime.
This would mean that Cher could be thrown into prison with her, or forced to live as an orphan on the country’s lawless streets.
An immigration judge said her story was ‘a pack of lies’ and ordered her out of Britain.
In a heartfelt plea to Home Office officials, she said: ‘I can’t go back there, I don’t know what will happen.
‘They sent me and Cher letters last month saying we are ‘liable to removal’, he can’t read or understand his, but he is worried when he sees me worried.’
Ms Karota came to the UK in 2006 after fleeing Zimbabwe via Malawi. Her parents were both murdered.
She obtained a Malawian passport for the journey after being refused a Zimbabwean one as a member of the pro-democracy group, the Movement for Democratic Change.
UK officials believe she is Malawian and want to deport her and Cher, who was born in Liverpool Women’s Hospital, to that country.
But because of an extradition deal between Malawi and Zimbabwe, Ms Karota fears her and her son will be handed over to Zimbabwean authorities.
Ms Karota, who is vice-chairman of the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, said: ‘They have seen me protesting here, at the gates of the Zimbabwean embassy in London.’
Since coming to Liverpool, she has become part of the community as a regular member at the Hope City Church, a volunteer for Woman Asylum Seekers Together and a member of the Liverpool African association. Cher did attend nursery, but his mother is now too afraid to let him out of her sight.
She added: ‘I just want to say something, even though things look so bad. I want people to know that I’ve been here and that I tried, for me and for my son.’
Despite being born in Britain, Cher is due to be deported as a member of the family of a person who does not have leave to remain in the UK.
Cher’s father is a Zimbabwean who was granted British citizenship and lives in the UK, but he only has irregular contact.
A UK Border Agency spokesperson said: ‘Ms Karota’s case has been carefully considered by the UK Border Agency and by two separate courts. However, the immigration judge said she had told a pack of lies and invented a tissue of untruths in order to attempt to stay in this country.
‘The UK has a proud tradition of providing protection to those who genuinely need our help, but when someone is found by the UK Border Agency and the courts not to need our protection we expect them to leave.’