Home Crime & Courts Joram Nechironga : Home Office ‘processing error’ sees British Army veteran hours from wrongful deportation

Joram Nechironga : Home Office ‘processing error’ sees British Army veteran hours from wrongful deportation

by reporter263

A Home Office “processing error” nearly saw the wrongful deportation of a Coventry veteran to a country where he faces death.

Hillfields resident Joram Nechironga arrived the UK in 2001 from Zimbabwe, and served in the British Army for five years, including in Iraq.

As we reported in our Coventry newsletter, on a visit to Zimbabwe in 2006, Mr Nechironga was accused of being a British spy and tortured after officials found his British Army ID.

Untreated PTSD led Mr Nechironga to develop a drinking problem, and he served two years in prison for drink-driving offences and an assault on a family member.

Despite being released with no conditions two years ago, he was hauled from his Hillfields flat by immigration officials on February 17 and has remained at Colnbrook Detention Centre since. The Home Office wants to deport him – but an appeal is under way to stop this.

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‘It has traumatised me’
He was due to be deported on March 2, but a late appeal put his removal on hold after Coventry South MP Zarah Sultana raised his case in parliament on February 28.

Yet a Home Office ‘processing error’ saw him wrongfully put on a bus to Heathrow airport last night (March 2) bound for a mass deportation flight to Zimbabwe.

Eleventh hour interventions from Mr Nechironga’s lawyers and Coventry South MP Zarah Sultana meant he was taken off the bus before it departed for Heathrow.

Coventry man Joram Nechironga arrived the UK in October 2001 and served in the British Army for 5 years and 4 months.The Hillfields resident suffered severe PTSD after serving on the frontline at the height of the Iraq conflict from 2002 to 2007. He currently faces deportation (Image: Supplied)
The Home Office have since told CoventryLive that “lessons will be learnt”, but Mr Nechironga has been left traumatised.

“Immigration didn’t send the confirmation that my deportation was deferred, they took their time to send the confirmation, they were given the deadline of 11am,” Mr Nechironga told CoventryLive from his room at Colnbrook Detention.

“The detention told me my deportation was deferred but they still wanted to take me to the plane because they said they didn’t get confirmation from immigration.”

Coventry man Joram Nechironga arrived the UK in October 2001 and served in the British Army for 5 years and 4 months.The Hillfields resident suffered severe PTSD after serving on the frontline at the height of the Iraq conflict from 2002 to 2007. He currently faces deportation (Image: Supplied)
According to his lawyers, the detention centre staff asked Mr Nechironga to call immigration to prove his deportation was on hold.

“It has traumatised me, I am suffering with PTSD ” he said.

“They said they can’t let me go back to Coventry because they say I am high risk and might abscond.

“The way they are treating me, they are not giving me a chance.”

‘I will definitely be killed’
He previously said: “I dedicated my life to fight for this country, which I love so much. I made a mistake yes, I am suffering from PTSD…why won’t they give me a chance?”

“I feel like crying. It goes into my head. That PTSD that I suffered, every day I can’t sleep, the moment I want to sleep, I get flashbacks.”

Coventry man Joram Nechironga arrived the UK in October 2001 and served in the British Army for 5 years and 4 months.The Hillfields resident suffered severe PTSD after serving on the frontline at the height of the Iraq conflict from 2002 to 2007. He currently faces deportation (Image: Supplied)
For the past two years he has been working as a painter and decorator in Coventry, rebuilding his life.

Mr Nechironga’s story has been shared widely on Zimbabwean media, and he has said there are people in the country waiting to harm him.

“I will definitely be killed if I return, there are no two ways about it.”

‘Home Office’s treatment of Joram has been utterly disgraceful’
Coventry South MP Zarah Sultana told CoventryLive: “The Home Office’s treatment of Joram has been utterly disgraceful. He was scarred by his time on the frontline with the British army, but he served his time and has turned his life around. He’s part of our community and is at risk of torture in Zimbabwe, yet the Home Office’s disarray almost led to him being deported by mistake. They should now drop this unjust threat and let Joram return to his family in Coventry.”

Zarah Sultana, Labour MP for Coventry South has slammed the Home Office’s mistake
Melch King Riyo, of Tann Law Solicitors, told CoventryLive: “We didn’t get the Home Office’s formal response to our representations until around 6.30pm. By then, Joram was already on the coach and he was uncontactable.

“I managed to speak to him, as well as the enforcement officer, who was with him on the coach and let him use his personal number when he was on the coach. I explained to him that the deportation was illegal as it had been deferred.

“Even though the enforcement officer who was with him believed me, he would not act on my word unless he had received written confirmation from the Home Office directly.

“Eventually Joram was taken off the coach after collaborative last minute efforts from the Zarah Sultana and her team along with Tann Law Solicitors. “

Mr Nechironga remains at Colnbrook Detention Centre.

Home Office – ‘Lessons can be learnt’
A Home Office spokesperson told CoventryLive: “We are investigating to understand whether lessons can be learnt from Mr Nechironga’s case.

“The New Plan for Immigration will fix the broken immigration system and stop the abuse we are seeing by expediting the removal of foreign national offenders and those who have no right to be here.”

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