Kenyan rugby player wins appeal against deportation from UK to Kenya

Kenneth Macharia
Kenneth Macharia. [Photo: Sky Sports]

Kenneth Macharia, a Kenyan man from the UK, has won a five-year asylum battle to remain in Britain on refugee status.

Macharia is gay Kenyan playing rugby for Bristol Bisons.

On Monday, a tribunal of the immigration and asylum chamber upheld his appeal against deportation to Kenya.

The first-tier tribunal noted that deporting him would infringe his human rights given he is gay and his mother country has illegalized it.

Macharia, 41, soon after the ruling told the Guardian UK that while he felt pleased to be finally safe and free, the decision had not yet sunk in.

 “It has been such a long time living with fear and uncertainty but I will be celebrating this evening when I go for rugby training,” he said.

“Now that I have been successful in my refugee appeal I feel that I can live a full life.”

Macharia left Kenya for the UK in 2009 on a student visa. He was studying mechanical engineering.

In 2016, he moved to court seeking asylum after his visa expired.

In his appeal, he said that Kenya was not safe for him, and he faced persecution and violence since the country does not allow LGBTQ affairs.

He got support from his rugby club Bristol Bisons which is an inclusive gay community.

Bristol protested a move by the Home Office to detain Macharia as his deportation was prepared.