LONDON – The British government on Friday issued a travel warning to Zimbabwe citing possible political upheavals and regional flight services disruptions.
A statement released by the British foreign office, said South African Airways is undergoing a business rescue process which may lead to changes in their timetable and urged travellers to check with their airline or tour operator before travelling.
Police on Friday afternoon served MDC officials at the party headquarters, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House (formerly Harvest House) with a search warrant to look-up for machetes and other subversive material in the building.
According to the warrant, the MDC is stocking machetes in preparation of committing public violence.
The order granted Friday at the Harare magistrates’ courts gives the police permission to search for machetes and subversive material inside Harvest House.
The statement posted on the the British government website warned travellers saying: “you should avoid any political gatherings or demonstrations. These can be unpredictable, can turn violent without notice and the response from the security forces may be disproportionate. You should exercise a high degree of caution and monitor local media and this travel advice for updates.”
Taking photographs of members of police and armed forces personnel and of demonstrations and protests is not permitted. You should avoid political activity, or activities which could be considered political, including political discussions in public places. Ensure you carry identification, so that you can produce it if required to do so by the security forces.
Zimbabwe’s economic situation remains unpredictable. As of 24 June 2019, the only legal tender in Zimbabwe is the “Zimbabwe Dollar”. There is a shortage of physical cash and it’s currently not possible to make cash withdrawals using an international bank card. You should check with your tour operator or hotel what payment methods will be accepted.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing severe electricity shortages resulting in extended periods without power. During blackouts, you should exercise a high degree of caution when driving as traffic lights may not be operational. Water rationing is being experienced in certain parts of the country. Contact your tour operator or hotel for latest updates.
Availability of fuel is sporadic and queues are common. You are advised to check in advance if you can make payment with an international payment card.
Tropical Cyclone Idai caused significant flooding and mud slides across many parts of eastern Zimbabwe in March 2019. Whilst the access situation has improved, many roads and bridges in the affected areas are still impassable. Electricity, water, and telecommunications networks have been impacted. If travelling to affected regions, take extra care and follow any advice given by the local authorities. Contact your hotel prior to travel to check that the hotel is still accessible and open.
On 6 September 2018, a cholera outbreak was declared in Harare by the Ministry of Health of Zimbabwe.
There’s a moderate level of crime in Zimbabwe. Remain vigilant, especially after dark, and make sure accommodation and vehicles are secure.
Always carry identity documentation or a copy of your passport.
Holiday and business visas are available at the port of entry. Don’t violate the conditions of your visa.
Dual British-Zimbabwean nationals who travel to Zimbabwe must have a valid travel document to re-enter the United Kingdom. It’s not possible to re-enter the UK using a Zimbabwean passport or emergency travel document without a visa or entry clearance endorsed.
Air Zimbabwe has been refused permission to operate flights to the EU because the airline has been unable to demonstrate that it complies with international air safety standards. British government employees travelling to and within Zimbabwe have been advised to use carriers that aren’t subject to the EU operating ban.
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Zimbabwe, attacks can’t be ruled out.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.