Glasgow, UK | THE INDEPENDENT | A Ugandan Mercy Baguma,34, has been found dead in her flat, with a child crying beside her.
Reports from the UK indicate that Baguma, who was jobless and seeking asylum, is feared to have starved to death and the Home Office has started an investigation.
Positive Action in Housing (PAIH) said in a statement that Baguma had been living in “extreme poverty” after losing her job.
Her one year old baby son was found crying beside her body, weakened from several days of starvation. The child’s father, also seeking asylum from another country, is caring for him.
Labour MP for Glasgow North East Paul Sweeney confirmed the Saturday incident, tweeting that “It’s heartbreaking to think about what must have been going through Mercy Baguma’s mind in her final days.”
The Independent in London quoted a Home Office spokesperson promising an investigation.
“This is a tragic situation and our condolences go to Ms Baguma’s family. The Home Office takes the wellbeing of all those in the asylum system extremely seriously, and we will be conducting a full investigation into Ms Baguma’s case.”
The brutal and tragic consequences of the asylum system strike again. It’s heartbreaking to think about what must have been going through Mercy Baguma’s mind in her final days. The despair and distress as she tried to care for her child. It must stop. RIP. https://t.co/HObgi3s6tA
— Paul Sweeney (@PaulJSweeney) August 25, 2020
Results of the post mortem will be released to family representatives on September 7.
“This is the third tragedy to affect the city’s refugee population in as many months. Mercy contacted our charity on August 11 and said she was not getting any financial support yet and had made an application to MigrantHelp.” said Robina Qureshi, Director of PAIH,
“On August 12, we contacted her about progressing her request for help . Had she lived she would have been a high priority for a crisis payment from our Emergency Relief Fund like hundreds of others left functionally destitute by the asylum system.”
PAIH in a statement said Baguma’s friends had not heard from her since Tuesday 18 August.
PAIH also stated that, “We understand that she lost her job after her limited leave to remain expired and she was no longer allowed to work. After living in extreme poverty, she claimed asylum. She was relying on food from friends and charitable organisations.”