BY DAN FRANK
CATHOLIC campaigners have renewed their battle to help an African family living in Dorset stay in the country after immigration services failed to deport them over the weekend.
Verah Kachepa and her four children were due to fly back to Malawi last Friday after their Immigration Advisory Serviceappointed lawyers admitted they could do nothing more to help the family. But according to Fr Philip Dyson, parish priest of St Augustine’s Church, Weymouth, Mrs Kachepa refused to leave without speaking to her barrister and immigration services took no action over the weekend.
Last week campaigners travelled to London to present a petition to the Home Office in what looked to have been an unsuccessful bid to stop the deportation. But on Tuesday a second group travelled to Downing Street with renewed hope to protest to Tony Blair.
Ralph Johnson, who has been supporting the Kachepas through his involvement with the church’s St Vincent de Paul group, said that there was an “outpouring of grief and anger” by parishioners and friends of the family when news of the deportation was announced. Many attended St Augustine’s last Thursday for an evening of prayer and reflection.
“The family have been treated appallingly and many people, including myself, were saying they felt ashamed to be British,” said Mr Johnson.