Dad calls for leniency from Sheffield immigration office for his son who is recovering from stroke

The father of a 30-year-old man who has been told he must come and report to the Sheffield immigration office while seriously ill following a stroke is calling on the Home Office to show some ‘leniency’.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 4:21 pm

Simba Mujakachi and his family are calling for help to receive clemency from the Sheffield immigration office at Vulcan House due to Simba's ill health, and a group of protesters gathered outside the building earlier this week to support him.

His father, Victor Mujakachi, 59, was detained at the Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre last year to be sent back home to Zimbabwe after his asylum claim was refused.

Simba suffered a stroke while his father was being held, and had to undergo emergency surgery. Victor was released five days later.

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Simba Mujakachi with his partner and his Father, Victor Mujakachi outside of Vulcan House

Victor said: “He underwent an emergency surgery which was very, very serious. We were even warned that his chances of survival were very slim. They actually gave him a 25 per cent chance of survival - he was in a coma for almost two weeks afterwards, on life support. The doctors were really, preparing us for the worst.”

“Fortunately and miraculously he regained his consciousness.”

Victor said that he may not have been released, had it not been for his supportive friends that he volunteers with on several Sheffield organisations like Assist, These Walls Must Fall and City of Sanctuary, protesting and petitioning for his release.

Simba woke up from his coma paralysed and unable to eat, and had to be fed intravenously.

Simba Mujakachi in hospital

“His limbs were paralysed - he couldn’t move his hands or anything,” said Victor.

Over time, Simba made incredible progress and regained some of his mobility on his right side.

Simba continued to be pursued by the immigration office in the weeks and months following his stroke.

A change in Simba’s immigrant status has also led to him being charged around £100,000 in medical bills for the treatment he received.

Victor speaking at the protest outside Sheffield immigration office in support of his son.

Because they are both refugees and asylum seekers, Victor and Simba are not allowed to work which means they have no means of being able to pay the medical bills.

Simba is still fighting to recover and uses a wheelchair to get around, and has been told he must still report to the immigration office despite his ill health.

Victor said: “They still insisted that somebody should come to report on his behalf. That task fell upon his partner. He doesn’t want to break the law because we know that coming to report to the immigration office regularly is the terms of our situation - and that is why he has come, despite his serious condition.”

Victor, the protesters and supporters there said that all they ask for is leniency for Simba’s situation and to temporarily suspend his reporting schedule until he is better.

Protesters in support of Simba Mujakachi outside Vulcan House in Sheffield

“Yes he has made a remarkable recovery since the time of his coma and no one expected him to survive but he is still willing to come and report.

“Last Thursday they sent him a text message that he should come and report - and if he didn’t he would face penalties, like detention. This is why people have gathered here today in order to support him; to say that the Home Office should show some leniency.

“Asking a person who is in his condition to come and report in person is too much to ask,” Victor added.

Student and local supporters of Simba and Victor Mujakachi protesting