Support grows for Kenyan man facing deportation

19 Sep 2016 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A musician who is being threatened with deportation over UK visa issues has won the support of well-known names in the music world in his fight to stay in Scotland.

Kenyan-born Robert Makutsa originally came to Glasgow seven years ago and has been working as a musician and a sound engineer.

He is now facing deportation for overstaying his visa, even though he says he was not told that his application for leave to remain had been turned down.
Now bands including Belle and Sebastian have joined a campaign to keep Robert in the UK. They are part of a group of musicians, audio, technical and lighting engineers who have started a petition to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon calling on her to stop him from being deported.
A Scottish Government spokesperson told The Herald: "We are sympathetic to those who have difficulties navigating the complex and increasingly restrictive UK Immigration rules.
"The UK Government’s focus on arbitrarily reducing net migration irrespective of what value migrants might bring, what skills shortages they could address, or what contribution they could make to our economy and society, is wrong for Scotland and is harming our economic prospects."
Synergy Concerts owner, Brian Reynolds, who runs the Glasgow music venue The Hug and Pint, is spearheading the campaign to keep Robert in Scotland. It was his social media post that Belle and Sebastian shared with fans and asked them to support the campaign.
Mr Reynolds said that Robert has been stopped from working but is still having to pay his rent and council tax. He urged local people to write to their MPs and show their support for Robert's fight. The campaign is also supported by Destiny Church in Glasgow, where Robert worships.