Wezzi Gondwe who has been in United Kingdom as a domestic worker in a private household looking after two children of her close relation says she will be a “destitute” is deported to Malawi after the UK Home Office has refused her a right to remain.
Gondwe was pregnant when she arrived in the UK and now has a 10 month old baby.
She argues that the Home Office should have considered the fact that the non-extension of the Visa would mean termination of her employment.
“The decision has effectively rendered me jobless and a destitute if I return to Malawi. My employment is as good as my property,” said Gondwe.
“Currently, there is post-election violence in Malawi which is going on unabetted. Several people have had their property destroyed during the period. Some have been heavily beaten. It is very risky for me to return to Malawi as baby and I may be targets of the post-election violence,” she said.
She argues that the decision maker ought to have considered Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights which guarantees the right to property.
The Visa extension refusal, according to her, has the further effect of violating her right to property and right to gainful employment.
“The decision also has the effect of subjecting me to modern slavery when I return to Malawi leaving my employer behind,” she said, this could be contrary to Article 4 of the European Convention of Human Rights which provides for Prohibition of slavery and forced labour.
Gondwe said the fact that the UK Immigration system allowed her to submit the application to be tied with the period of her employer’s stay in the UK, it gave her a legitimate expectation that the Visa would be extended.
“The decision [to refuse me the right to stay is] therefore is a violation of my legitimate expectation,” she said.
Gondwe said she paid over £1000 as Visa extension fee, saying it is substantial amount of money.
“As such, I request that the payment of over £1000.00 visa extension fee should form a compelling factor to extend the Visa on compassionate grounds. The rules allow the decision maker to grant the Visa on compassionate grounds. These were not considered when the decision was being made. Had this important relevant consideration been taken into account, the Visa extension would not have been declined,” she argues.
Gondwe said by working as a domestic servant, she created a bond with her employer’s family including his children.
“I effectively became part of his family. Further, under the Malawian culture, the close bond with my employer means that I am part of his family,” Gondwe aid.
She argues that the rejection of the Visa extension is therefore a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights which provides that:“Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.”
Gondwe bemoans that the decision to reject her Visa has the effect of violating her ‘private and family’ contrary to Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights hence unlawful under section 6(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998 which should be examined alongside Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights which provides for freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
“My job involves taking care of my employer’s children who have stayed with me for a long time and they call me their ‘mother.’ The decision did not take into account the best interests of my employer’s children.”
Gondwe had no lawyer when she submitted the application for Visa renewal but now hopes with legal advice will submit an appeal before time runs out and she is forced to leave the UK.
A spokesperson for the Home Office said they did not comment on individual cases.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :