14 Zimbabweans deported from the UK in quarantine

Writing on Twitter, government spokesman Nick Mangwana said Zimbabwe welcomed these deportees home and said they would be safe.

Zimbabwean government spokesman Nick Mangwana. Picture: @nickmangwana/Twitter.

HARARE - A group of 14 Zimbabwean deportees controversially sent back to that country from the UK has been taken to a quarantine centre in the capital, Harare.

Writing on Twitter, government spokesman Nick Mangwana on Thursday said Zimbabwe welcomed these deportees home and said they would be safe.

Rights groups in the UK had opposed this deportation, saying it was unfair to send people home to Zimbabwe where rights abuses took place, and where there was a third wave of COVID-19.

The main opposition MDC Alliance has called it sad and regrettable.

Britain’s home secretary Priti Patel said the deportees were all foreign national offenders, convicted of crimes including murder, rape and robbery.

But lawyers in the UK said some of the deportees were convicted of lesser offences.

Around 150 people were due to be sent back to Harare on Thursday, but in the end, only 14 were.

They were whisked away from the airport aboard two buses under a police escort to a COVID-19 quarantine centre where they’ll spend the next 10 days.

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