UNITED Kingdom: A 19-year-old student from Bath faces deportation to Zimbabwe despite living in the city for the past seven years.
Mudiwa Madzima has set up a fundraising campaign to cover her legal costs so she can fight the decision – saying she has no family in Zimbabwe and would fear for her safety there.
Madzima moved to Bath from Zimbabwe with her mother when she was 12-years-old.
She joined Hayesfield Girls School in Oldfield Park and was recently given a place to study politics with international relations at the University of Nottingham.
But after applying for her student loan, her application was rejected and she was told by the authorities that she didn’t have enough time left on her visa.
In January, she was told she would be deported to Zimbabwe, despite having no family connections there.
Madzima, along with her mother and with help from a local solicitor, has now launched a fundraising campaign so she can fight the decision.
“I’m really scared,” she said. “England is my home, where my family and friends are and the only country with which I have a connection.
“I was born in Zimbabwe, but my only family live in England.
“I need urgent help because time is running out before I will be forced to leave the only place I know.
“Zimbabwe is a deeply hostile environment for anyone to face, due to political and economic chaos, much more so to a 19-year-old girl with no connections.
“In England I look forward to pursing my passions by continuing to contribute to society.
“In Zimbabwe there will be no way to fund my higher education and I will face a 90 per cent unemployment rate.”
Madzima’s mother, who works as a nurse in Bath, married an English man and has two young children with him. This means her family all have UK citizenship and her mother is unable to move back to Zimbabwe.
Amanda Noyce, a solicitor for Royds Withy King in Bath, has helped Madzima and her mother set up the campaign and put her in touch with immigration lawyers in London.
Noyce’s daughter is friends with Madzima and the solicitor said she could not sit back and watch it happen.
“Zimbabwe has 90 per cent unemployment and 100 girls a day are raped in the country according to various reports available on the internet,” she said.
“Mudiwa would be in a very frightening situation.
“This is to raise a fund to help with legal fees and if, heaven forbid, she is deported, she will need some money to cope when she arrives at the airport with nowhere to go.”
Madzima has raised £2,000 so far, which has been spent on lodging and appeal. If the appeal goes ahead, she would need around £5,000 more.
Noyce added: “The solicitor and barrister concerned are doing this for a minimal fee as it is.
“They are really committed humanitarian lawyers. The case is very urgent.”
Noyce fears that if Madzima is sent back to Zimbabwe, she will have a bleak future and might never see her family again.
Bath MP Wera Hobhouse has also said she will help where she can and will liaise with the solicitor to see what she can do, but Madzima needs to raise enough money to cover the legal costs.
Hobhouse told the Chronicle: “I have the deepest sympathy for Mudiwa and her family, who approached my office last week for help.
“I am waiting to talk to their solicitor on Monday.
“I want to be on exactly the same page as her counsel before taking the next steps to help her, so the legal process is not compromised.”
If you want to help Ms Madzima, her GoFundMe page can be found here.
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