The British Home Office deportation flight to Zimbabwe which took off at about 11pm (GMT) on Wednesday night is said to be having only 14 on board out of the 50 scheduled passengers.

The NewsHawks which is now tracking the Airbus 340-313 (reg CS-TQY) operated by Portuguese charter airline Hi Fly, reports.

The chartered aircraft carrying the deportees from the UK to Zimbabwe is said to be less than 3 hours away from touching down at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare.

Meanwhile, according to reports, several people targeted for deportation pulled from plane at the last minute after winning court orders, while others went into isolation after exposure to people with Covid 19.

UK holding 150 Zimbabweans earmarked for deportation.

The British Embassy in Harare and the Government of Zimbabwe have already agreed on the deportation modalities.

Those being deported today are ex-convicts who have finished serving jail terms for various offenses.

British MPs recently opposed the deportation of Zimbabweans fearing that they might be persecuted by the Harare authorities whose human rights record is extremely bad.

Commenting on the matter, MDC Alliance deputy president Tendai Biti said:

“The deportation of compatriots from the UK is sad & regrettable Zimbabwe remains an extremely fragile & vulnerable space.

“Political attrition & human rights abuses are increasing.

“There is Covid 19, an economic meltdown & increased poverty. We appeal to authorities to revisit their decision.”