Home Office Appeals Against ‘Gamu Can Stay’ Decision

Relentless: Gamu

Relentless: Gamu

A decision to let former X Factor hopeful Gamu Nhengu and her family remain in the UK is to be challenged by the Home Office.
Last week, it was revealed that Gamu and her family had won their appeal against deportation, as an immigration court ruled that an order for them to be returned to their Zimbabwean homeland should be overturned.

The family’s lawyer, Frances Farrell, said at the time that it was “the first great news they’ve had for months”.

But on Wednesday (19 May) Gamu, 19, her mother Nokuthula Ngazana and two brothers were dealt a fresh blow as the Home Office confirmed it would appeal against the court’s decision.

The teenager, who lives in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, shot to fame on last year’s X Factor when she was controversially booted off the show during the judges’ houses round.

Gamu was dropped by judge Cheryl Cole, who took Katie Waissel, Cher Lloyd and competition winner Rebecca Ferguson through to the live finals.

The singer’s mother had her visa renewal turned down in August 2010, sparking a long battle against deportation to Zimbabwe.

Mrs Farrell announced on Wednesday last week that the Immigration Court in Glasgow had ruled that the family had won the right to stay in the country – granted in accordance with their right to a private and family life as set out in the European Convention on Human Rights – giving the Home Office five working days to appeal against the decision.

Today a Home Office spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that we are appealing the decision.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage of the proceedings.

“The UK Border Agency considers every case carefully and where we do not believe someone has the right to stay in the country, and does not require our protection, we expect them to return home.”

Mrs Farrell was unavailable to comment on the decision today.

MP Gordon Banks, who represents Ochil and South Perthshire, where Gamu is a constituent, said: “I am disappointed that the Home Office has decided to take this step.

“However, they are well within their rights to do so.

“I hope matters can be dealt with quickly so Gamu and her family can resume their active and important roles in community life in Clackmannanshire, and give something back to Scotland.”

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