“I was at the home office in my area for my routine every six months reporting as required by the immigration laws here when they told me that I must leave the UK”.
A ZIMBABWEAN man who was hailed as a “hero” after he raced to save two children from a devastating house fire that killed their parents is facing deportation from the UK.
Narrating his situation, Robert Chilowa said, “I was at the home office in my area for my routine every six months reporting as required by the immigration laws here when they told me that I must leave the UK”.
He added: “I was taken a back because this comes when I am in the middle of counselling having gone through all that. Moreover, there will likely be an inquest or inquiry down the line into that sad incident and I am supposed to be available for that process just as I was interviewed by the police and the press.”
In February this year, Chilowa, 46, a carer, ran to the scene of the blaze in Withington, Manchester, one Friday morning wearing only his pyjamas.
He was able to save the children saying he “couldn’t just watch them die”. ’
Speaking to the Sun newspaper at the time he said, “I followed where the scream was coming from and I got to the house and saw there was fire.
“I wasn’t even wearing my shoes. I ran out the house in my pyjamas and headed to where the noise was coming from – which was only three houses away.
‘I turned around and there was this young girl there lying on the floor and she pointed at the window to say, “please can you save my brother and my sister – ask them to jump?”
He added: ‘I wasn’t scared for myself…I just didn’t want to see those little kids die.
‘It was so smoky and it was blazing hot so I couldn’t actually see very well.
‘I just outstretched my arms and shouted up to the kids “please jump into my hands”.
‘The boy jumped first and I caught him and put him on the grass. Then the girl jumped as well and I caught her in my arms.
An online petition posted by one Ananias Chakwizira said Chilowa, who has been in the U.K. since 2001, is now “facing deportation from a country he now calls home”.
The petition seeks to persuade the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd “to consider her decision”.
“It is through his bravery and the will to help others that he sacrificed his own life to help lives from a burning house. One of the Home Office requirements for being granted a status is good character, this act of bravery is good character especially in today’s world whereby he could have chosen to be a bystander and take pictures from afar,” reads the petition.
It added, “Please sign this petition to help Robert Chilowa to stay in this country and make the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd consider her decision.”
“Robert did not commit any crime but saved lives, he deserves recognition not psychological persecution from the Home Office. Let’s save this gentle giant.”