More than a dozen of Zimbabwe’s citizens are being deported from the United Kingdom. According to reports, some of them have lived in the country for decades and have been forced to leave their families behind to face an uncertain future in their native country.
They were deported from the United Kingdom after the government denied their refugee applications.
People convicted of crimes in the United Kingdom were the first group of Zimbabweans deported. The UK asserts that it has the authority to deport foreign nationals who carry out their prison terms for severe offenses.
Activists and politicians in Britain urged the halt to the deportations, citing fears of persecution in Zimbabwe. However, Zimbabwean officials denied that the returnees would face persecution.
Earlier this week, 14 deportees arrived at Zimbabwe’s major international airport in Harare’s capital. They were immediately put into waiting buses to be sent to a quarantine facility, where they would remain for ten days before being allowed to return to their respective homes.
Relatives were heartbroken as they waited outside the Harare airport on Thursday but were unable to see the deportees.
Many more are scheduled to be deported back to their nation from which they fled amid a tumultuous political and economic crisis.