Eastbourne man threatened with deportation to Zimbabwe

Immigration Enforcement officials are dealing with three men and two women and a child, all from east Africa, who are suspected of having  entered the UK illegally.
Immigration Enforcement officials are dealing with three men and two women and a child, all from east Africa, who are suspected of having entered the UK illegally.

A father from Eastbourne has been threatened with deportation back to Zimbabwe because he didn’t resemble his passport picture.

Atterbell Maplanka, who works as a housing support officer at Pathways in Rotherfield Avenue, Bexhill, was detained at Heathrow Airport by immigration officials last Wednesday.

In an interview with Nehanda Radio, Atterbell Maplanka says he travelled to Zimbabwe two weeks ago after his mother passed away.

Mr Maplanka told the Zimbabwean radio station: “I went to attend my mothers’ funeral.

“When I came back they detained me at Heathrow Terminal 2 and said I don’t look like the person in the passport, basically.

“I was granted indefinite leave to remain in 2003 on my old passport.

“That passport has since expired so I applied for a new passport.

“I did contact immigration and they said that’s not a problem, you can either transfer your visa to your new passport or you can travel with both passports.

“Since they told me that I have travelled four or five times, and I have never had an issue.”

Maplanka lives in Eastbourne and has four children, two from his first wife, who all have British passports and two children with his new wife, one child has indefinite leave to remain.

He also has sisters and nieces in the UK who have all become British citizens.

Represented by RBM Solicitors, Maplanka told Nehanda Radio he had asked for fingerprints to be taken but has been told British authorities do not maintain fingerprint records for more than 10 years and so they do not have anything to compare with.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/

2) Like our Facebook page at Text to display

3) Follow us on Twitter @Eastbournenews

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Eastbourne Herald - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.