Farai Chigogora is a Zimbawean born man who hogged the limelight in Cananda after having been convicted for house breaking and theft in which he was alleged to have stolen $5000 a crime he saved a 15 month prison sentence for.
Chigogora is said to have migrated to Canada when he was just a fourteen year old and had lived in the country since then as a permanent resident. It is said that Farai moved to Canada together with his mother and brother in 2008.
Conviction, Release and Campaign to Stay in Canada
After having pleaded guilty to the alleged offence, Chigogora was sentenced to 15 months in prison which he served in full. Despite having pleaded guilty to the crimes which he was being accused of, Chigogora insisted that he pleaded guilty after he had been forced to do so by the courts. It was alleged that Farai was forced to plead guilty to the charges due to the fact that the court case was becoming a financial burden for his family and it was also taking a toll on him emotionally. After his release from prison, Chigogora is said to have engaged in several projects in the community and had become a valuable member of the community in the process. Chigogora was aid to have been a leader and volunteer at the NGen Youth Centre he and others campaigned against racism among other activities. Prior to the deportation of Chigogora, the Canadian government did not have strict laws which necessitated the deportation of foreign nationals living in Canada but the new government was said to have put in place measures which allowed them to deport criminals through The Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act. Chigogora alongside his family members and other community members had been petitioning the government to and the courts not to deport Chigogora as his contribution to society had been very outstanding since his release from prison. Rachel Edge who had worked with Chigogora was quoted to have said
He deserves to be supported. What good comes out of deporting this person who is an active community member and leader in our community?
Commenting on the efforts of fellow community members had been pushing for the prevention of his deportation:
I feel really stressed and sometimes really helpless. I am hopeful but I feel like the justice system was unjust towards my case. I feel betrayed and unwelcomed by Canada. I’m always a positive person but I’m also expecting the worst. It’s not me who’s making the decision but the community support makes me believe I can do it. Thank you to everyone who is supporting me
The community which Farai came from had done almost everything to petition the government not to deport him back to Zimbabwe including organising a fundraising dinner in order to raise money to pay for his legal representation and other expenses which had been accrued during the various court sessions. Jennifer Hompoth, a co-founder of NGen Youth Centre stated
He has served as a citizen member of the Hamilton Youth Advisory Council and has been a youth leader at NGen. He is a proud Hamiltonian and he has done a lot of good work here. We all believe in him and we want him to stay.
His mother was also quoted saying
When my children first arrived, they were two little boys holding each other’s hands looking anxiously around the airport for their mother. When they saw me, waiting to meet them, they were so happy to be with me. I feel so anxious for him now because he is being sent back and I don’t know how he is going to feel, what he is going to do
After the failed attempts to lobby the Canadian government to allow Chigogora to stay in Canada, he was finally deported to Zimbabwe on January 13, 2015. He had made several pleas to the Canadian government not to be deported arguing that there was no life for him in Zimbabwe which is why he needed to stay in Canada where he was contributing positively in society.
Video of Farai Appealing not to be Deported
- Farai Chigogora deported to Zimbabwe, Nehanda Radio, Published: January 16, 2015, Retrieved: January 19, 2015
- Community unites to fight deportation for Farai Chigogora, CBC, Published: January 9, 2015, Retrieved: January 19, 2015
- Justice for Farai: Fundraiser Dinner, Justice for Farai, Retrieved: January 19, 2014
- JUSTICE FOR FARAI, JUSTICE FOR FARAI, Retrieved: January 19, 2015