Deportation Reprieve For Boy, 7, And HIV-Positive Parents

A seven-year-old boy and his HIV-positive parents at the centre of a deportation battle have been granted a legal reprieve after coming within hours of being put on a plane to Malawi.

Last week, a children’s charity warned the Home Office that it was in effect condemning Dumisani Lungu to death if it sent his family to a country where there was virtually no treatment for HIV/Aids.

Lawyers have since been successful in obtaining a court order to prevent their imminent removal, pending an application for judicial review.

Yesterday, Dumisani’s mother, Caroline Manchinjili, told the Guardian that the reprieve gave them “the chance to live a bit longer” but said she feared for her son’s future. Ms Manchinjili, who has severe epilepsy as well as HIV, said: “At the moment, we have a good barrister working for us but we are scared because we don’t know what will happen to us in the future.

“My condition is complicated and medication is not available in Malawi, so for me it would be the end of my life. My husband (Brian Lungu) would die soon too and my son would be an orphan. He would be on the streets with no one to look after him. If we have to go back it would be like asking people just to kill us now.”

The family came to the UK seeking asylum in 2005, but their case failed.

Ms Manchinjili said Dumisani was happy to be back in Stockport, where the family live, but said that he still suffered nightmares as a result of their ordeal at the hands of immigration officers. The family were taken from their beds in a dawn raid two weeks ago and taken to Yarls Wood detention centre.

After a few days, during which Ms Manchinjili said she suffered an epileptic fit, they were taken to Heathrow. “They treated us like we were criminals,” she said. “They handcuffed me and Brian. Dumisani was very upset, he was crying and shouting. He cried all the way to the airport. He was very scared about it all and he still has nightmares about it. He has found it difficult to sleep. We have to sleep with him now.”

Martin Narey, chief executive of Barnardo’s, said he would continue to fight for the family to stay in the UK. He is trying to prevent the Home Office from deporting children with HIV/Aids who face death in Malawi because they cannot get treatment.