THE LIVES of five young children could be devastated if deportation proceedings against a Scarborough resident go ahead.
Mano Harakuta, who has lived in the town for the past year with partner Nicola Beeby in Murchison Street, was unexpectedly detained at Scarborough Police Station on Wednesday.
In the early hours of yesterday morning he was spirited away to Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre in Middlesex, and has been told he will be returned to his native Namibia, in south-western Africa, on Tuesday, after passport complications led to his visa expiring.
If the deportation goes ahead, Mano will be ripped apart from his four young biological children, four-year-old Kuba, three-year-old Taneka, one-year-old Tyrese and baby Shakira. He has been a dad to another child, nine-year-old Bryony, since she was 18 months old.
His wife Kerry, whom Mano is separated from but still enjoys a good relationship with, said yesterday: “Everybody is in turmoil. I’ve had to explain the situation to Bryony. Her biological dad died and now she says another dad is leaving her. She was up at 5am sobbing.
“My children have a right to have a dad. If he goes back to Namibia I don’t think he will ever get back. His kids could never see him again.”
Degree-educated Mano entered the UK legally in 2004. He then married Wakefield resident Kerry, and started a family. The pair separated and his visa expired, leading to the deportation proceedings being initiated.
He was required to sign on every week at Scarborough Police Station, but when he turned up on Wednesday morning at 10:30, he was locked up in the cells.
His partner Nicola said: “Sometimes he will go off for a wander around Scarborough so at first I didn’t think anything of it when he didn’t come back on time.
“Then I got a voicemail from the police. I was at the police station for eight-and-a-half hours but they wouldn’t let me see him. He’s been locked up since Wednesday afternoon like a drug dealer or some murderer.
“He adores his kids. He dotes on them. Bryony has had me in tears – she is heartbroken. They were due to come and stay with us this weekend.”
Lawyers are now desperately seeking an emergency injunction to prevent the deportation.
They may argue that to deport Mano would breach his and his children’s right to respect for a family life which is guaranteed under the Human Rights Act.
Nicola, Kerry, Bryony, Kuba and Taneka yesterday made the journey to Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre in the hope that they would be allowed to see Mano.
Kerry added: “It’s horrible, the kids are all over the place. Tyrese is only just starting to get used to his dad and Kuba has learning difficulties and autism, so any change in his routine is distressing.
“Until his visa expired Mano always worked. He has never taken anything from the state. He paid and bills and provided a nice home. We couldn’t get along in the end but he was a family man.
“He went to the authorities when his visa expired. Most people don’t have the guts to do that.”