This Travel Alert is being issued to inform U.S. citizens of safety and security concerns related to the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe scheduled for Saturday, March 29, 2008. This Travel Alert expires on May 1, 2008.
The national election season in Zimbabwe may pose a security threat to U.S. citizens in Zimbabwe. Previous elections in 2000, 2002 and 2005 were contentious and sparked food, water and fuel shortages, as well as occasional outbreaks of violence. Given the present, significantly weaker, Zimbabwean economy, chronic hyperinflation, and ongoing shortages, the 2008 election season has the potential to generate widespread instability and violence.
Demonstrations and general unrest may occur during this period. The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens who live, work, or are traveling in Zimbabwe to maintain a high level of vigilance. Avoid visiting high-density suburbs, industrial zones, and unfamiliar areas. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid potentially threatening events such as demonstrations, rallies, or other public gatherings. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.