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Published On: Thu, Jan 15th, 2015

British PM Intervenes in Gada Funeral Visa Row

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British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to investigate the case of a Zimbabwean family whose relatives have been denied visas to attend the funeral of their daughter.

Five-year-old Andrea Gada, of Downland Close, Eastbourne, in East Sussex, was struck by a car in the town on 16 December and died the following day.

Her funeral has been delayed because the Home Office has refused visas to her grandparents and aunt in Zimbabwe.

Local Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Lloyd raised the matter in the Commons.

‘Double tragedy’

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, he said he would act as a guarantor to ensure the relatives returned to Zimbabwe.

“The Home Office decision is cruel and unkind. Prime Minister, will you intervene?” he asked.

David Cameron replied: “I will certainly look at the case – I was just discussing it with the Home Secretary – and make sure the Home Office has a careful look to see what can be done.”

Andrea’s parents, Wellington and Charity Gada, are from Zimbabwe and were granted asylum in the UK.

‘Genuine intentions’

They said the decision by the Home Office was making their grief over the loss of their daughter harder to bear.

“It’s a very difficult moment we’re going through and all this is just making it a double tragedy,” Mr Gada said.

Home Office documents said the visas were refused because of concerns about whether the family members had enough funds to support themselves and because officials were “not satisfied their intentions are genuine”.

Mr Lloyd, the MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon, said he would make sure the relatives returned soon after the funeral.

Speaking on Sunday, he said: “I just cannot conceive of the Home Office not appreciating that that means that I’d be working very closely with the family to ensure that happens.” BBC

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