Caterer sues Sun over Home Office corruption story

Customs and Excise catering assistant Gerald Dzumbira has launched a legal battle for libel damages over a story in The Sun.

Dzumbira is suing publishers News Group over a story headed ‘Corruption at Home Office’and ‘Immigration cheat got his family in too”, which he says was defamatory.

The story claimed that he colluded with his brother, a corrupt Home office employee, to get permission to stay in the UK by dishonestly posing as a genuine asylum seeker, he says.

Dzumbira says he was hurt and embarrassed by the story, and that he has been verbally abused as a result. When the story appeared, he had four jobs, but was forced to leave one because of abuse from colleagues.

He was also taunted by colleagues at another workplace, was called a bogus asylum seeker, and asked when he was going to be deported, according to a High Court writ.

He fled persecution in Zimbabwe, and has worked hard to establish himself in the UK, he says. He is well known in his local area, and has worked for many government and civic institutions, he claims.

Dzumbira, of Anson Chase, Shoeburyness, Essex, is also seeking aggravated damages, saying the paper failed to contact him before publication, and despite a Home Office statement saying his brother did not have the ability to influence asylum decisions, the writ alleges.

He accuses News Group of breaching pre-action protocol for legal claims by failing to respond substantively to his letter of claim, and of refusing to apologise or retract the allegations.

Dzumbira is seeking damages and aggravated damages, and an injunction banning repetition of the allegations.

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