Big Brother's Zimbabwean star escapes deportation

A Zimbabwean woman whose appearance on a reality television show caused a storm of protest in her home country won her battle to stay in Britain on Thursday after being threatened with deportation.

The British government gave Makosi Musambasi notice to return to Zimbabwe in August for breaching the conditions of her working visa by resigning from her job as a cardiac nurse to appear on the Big Brother programme.

The 25-year-old had a last-ditch asylum application rejected but she appealed to the Central London Asylum and Immigration tribunal which overturned the ruling on Thursday.

The panel said her sexual antics on the gameshow—where hidden cameras in a house show track contestants’ every move—meant it was now unsafe for her return to Zimbabwe, where she could face vicious hate mobs.

As a failed asylum seeker and involuntary returnee, the tribunal granted her refugee status, meaning she can stay in Britain for up to five years.

Musambasi told the tribunal she feared for her life if she had to return home, where she has been branded a “lowlife lesbian” because of her naked cavorting on the show.

Speaking after the hearing, Musambasi, whom the public voted into third place on the show, told reporters: “I was petrified of being physically attacked and discriminated against.

“To me, going back home to Zimbabwe would have meant the end of my life. It is something that you can never express properly—the fear you can have about returning to your own country.”

Britain’s Home Office said it was disappointed with the decision and was considering an appeal. - Sapa-AFP

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