X Factor's Gamu Nhengu to fight deportation order
Lawyers for Gamu and her family hope to overturn Home Office ruling
The former X Factor contestant Gamu Nhengu will fight to stay in Britain, with solicitors reportedly seeking to overturn the Home Office order that her family be deported back to Zimbabwe.
UK immigration officials confirmed yesterday that 18-year-old Gamu's mother Nokuthula Ngazana had been refused permission to stay in the UK after her visa expired in August. The family, who currently live in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, have been in Britain for 10 years.
The family’s solicitor, Peter Farrell, told the BBC that he would be seeking a judicial review of the case from the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
Farrell said that he understood an application to extend the family's visa was turned down after Gamu's mother had supplied the wrong bank details. The error had meant the application was deemed to have expired, he said, although Ngazana had lodged it in time.
Gamu's mother has also been accused of claiming benefits that she was not entitled to. Farrell said that Ngazana had been "given permission" to claim both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit by the Inland Revenue "in the full knowledge of her immigration status".
Despite impressing audiences with her performances, Gamu was eliminated from The X Factor on Sunday after her mentor Cheryl Cole chose not to take her through to the finals. The verdict surprised viewers and TV observers - including The First Post's Johnny Dee - who have asked whether ITV executives were aware that Gamu's visa was about to run out.
Yesterday more than 100 people gathered outside the aspiring singer's home to show their support for Gamu, her mother and two brothers Milton, 11, and Marty, 9.
The family's local MP Gordon Banks said they were "understandably distraught". ·
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