A grandmother from Zimbabwe has been told she will be removed from the UK at the end of the month. Evenia Mawongera, an outspoken critic of Robert Mugabe’s regime, is being detained at Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre, in Bedford.
The 55-year-old had originally applied for bail and was meant to have her bail hearing yesterday, but was told she would be leaving Britain on October 31. Evenia, who fled Zimbabwe 10 years ago to join her two daughters in Leicester, said: “I feel dreadful, just dreadful.
“They told me that they had booked a flight for me but because I’m in here, I can’t do anything.”
After speaking to her solicitor, Evenia said that she had decided to apply to the courts for a review of her case. She said: “Nothing seems to be moving – all I can do is wait for the Home Office to make a decision. I’m scared about leaving my children and my grandchildren but also about where I’m going.
“Other people haven’t seen the reality of what’s going on in Zimbabwe but I know what’s going on. I’m scared for my life. If I get sent back, I would never see my daughters and grandchildren ever again.”
On August 16, Evenia submitted an application to stay in Britain. On September 6, she made her weekly visit to the Border Agency, in Loughborough, where she was required to report in.
When she got there, she was told her application had been rejected and she was held in Loughborough before being taken to the detention centre in Bedford. It is the second time Evenia, who has been fighting to stay in Britain for the past four months, has been detained.
University of Leicester student Ambrose Musiyiwa, who has been supporting Evenia, said: “I talk to Evenia on the phone almost every day.
“This is traumatising for her. If she is removed from the country she will be at risk. I’m so upset and disappointed. Evenia isn’t being treated as a person, she’s being treated as a number.”
Ambrose and his fellow campaigners have been petitioning to keep Evenia in the country since July. “We have gained nearly 2,000 signatures online and 2,000 on the paper petition,” he said. This is Leicester Mercury