Gay Couple, ages 27 and 22 Threatened With Deportation in the UK
Unondjamo Kavala and boyfriend Mbiripipo Tjizoo are desperate to stay in the UK
- ‘We want a future in the UK. We are living freely here. We can express our feelings.
- ‘We can walk down the street holding hands without any comments.
A gay couple is fighting to stay in the UK after escaping homophobic persecution from their families in Africa.
Unondjamo Kavala, 27, and boyfriend Mbiripipo Tjizoo, 22, fled Namibia earlier this year and claimed asylum as soon as they landed in the UK.
But Mr Kavala was told Home Office officials do not believe their long-term relationship is ‘genuine’ and his claim for asylum was rejected.
He said he tried travelling around Namibia with his boyfriend but his family would ‘hunt him down’.
He said: ‘Me and my partner were badly attacked twice by my parents.
‘We tried to move all over the country but my parents were hunting for me because they don’t want me to live as a gay man.
‘I just decided to come to the UK and claim asylum.’
Despite living in constant fear in Namibia, the Home Office has decided to deport Mr Kavala, rejecting his claim for asylum.
Mr Kavala has lodged an appeal against his deportation, while Mr Tjizoo is still awaiting a decision on his asylum claim.
Namibians do not need a visa to enter the UK and are allowed to stay for six months, But Mr Kavaka said he had been previously stopped from leaving Namibia so chose an alternative way in to the UK from Germany.
He has been held in two detention centres since claiming asylum, and was bailed from Brook House near Gatwick Airport yesterday.
The couple say they were attacked by their families in Namibia for being gay
Speaking from their home in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, a distraught Mr Tjizoo said they are both ‘free’ to live how they want in the UK.
‘We claimed asylum in the UK because in Namibia it’s torture, he added.
‘We want a future in the UK. We are living freely here. We can express our feelings.
‘We can walk down the street holding hands without any comments.
‘We can be free.’
Mr Kavaka was scheduled to be deported on October 19 but was bailed pending the outcome of his appeal.
Mr Tjizoo said they can ‘walk down the street holding hands without any comments’
He spoke to a local reporter from Morton Hall detention centre in Lincolnshire last week.
‘Morton Hall is not a good place to be,’ he told Lincolnshire Live.
‘It’s kind of a prison. You can walk around inside, but you are not allowed to leave the walls.
‘The guards there are ok and they treated me well.
‘But some of the food I couldn’t eat – a lot of it was for Asian people and I’m from a completely different continent.
‘I thought I was in prison, but I have never committed a crime in my life.’
The couple are still hoping for a future in the UK
He added: ‘The reason they want to deport me is that the visa I came in on is for the EU only and not the UK.
‘Mbiripipo came in with no visa at all. The first time I tried to come to the UK I was stopped at the airport in Namibia and prevented from leaving.’
petition to save Mr Kavaka from deportation has now been signed by 45,000 people.
Mr Kavaka’s friend Shian Harris started the campaign on Change.org, and wrote: ‘The Home Office say their relationship is not real and are trying to separate them by deporting Justice to Germany – claiming it was the first place he was in since Namibia.
‘I’m calling on the Home Office to stop the deportation and allow him to stay in the UK with his long-term boyfriend.
African Culture and Gay
They are things that are difficult for Africans to accept; and one of it is gay.
Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual.
Homosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender.
In most African culture you will be seen as a taboo and disgrace to your entire family. Imagine telling a family that you are gay or interested in same sex.