The Home Office has refused to issue a UK visa to the grandparents of a five-year-old girl who died in a car crash. The grandparents had applied for a UK visa so that they could come to Britain from their home in Zimbabwe to attend her funeral.
Andrea Gada died after being hit by a car in Eastbourne, East Sussex, before Christmas.
Her funeral had been scheduled for earlier this month but has now been put on hold after her grandparents Stanley and Grace Bwanya, and aunt Mona Lisa Faith, were refused a temporary visa to enter the UK.
Andrea’s parents Wellington and Charity said the family had been told they could not come to Britain because they were “too poor” and therefore at risk of absconding when they arrived in the UK. The family has offered to report to local police and wear electronic tags to monitor where they are, but they were still turned down. Their MP Stephen Lloyd even personally pledged to guarantee that the family left the country after the funeral.
Mr Gada is now making a personal appeal to Prime Minister David Cameron and is trying to set up a private meeting with him.
He said: “He is not just a politician. He is also a father, and he is a father who has also lost a child. I wonder why he lets this stress pile on us, because he knows exactly what we are going through.”
Mr Cameron promised to look at the case when Lib Dem MP Mr Lloyd raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions but the next day, Immigration Minister James Brokenshire, said the request had been turned down after being reviewed.
The Gada family are Seventh Day Adventists and said the funeral is considered important from both a cultural and religious point of view.