Polls: US issues travel alert

THE United States government has called on its citizens travelling to Zimbabwe to exercise extreme caution, saying they anticipated a spike in the crime rate and civil unrest ahead of the July 30 elections.

BY EVERSON MUSHAVA

This is the second time the US has issued a travel advisory in less than a year after issuing a similar one on the verge of the November military intervention that toppled long-time leader Robert Mugabe last year.

In the travel advisory titled “2018 Zimbabwe — Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution” issued on Monday, the US said violent crime such as assault, carjacking; home invasion as well as smashing of car windows with the intent to steal were common in Zimbabwe. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.”
The Donald Trump (pictured) administration added: “Zimbabwe will hold general elections across the country on July 30, 2018. Due to heightened political tensions around the elections, acts of violence may occur at political rallies.”

In Monday’s travel warning, the US ordered its citizens travelling to Zimbabwe to among other things “avoid openly displaying cash, moving around with copies of passport and visa and leaving originals in the hotel, staying away from political rallies, demonstrations, and crowds.”

The US citizens were advised to monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust their plans as well as enrolling on the Smart Traveller Enrolment Program (Step) to receive alerts and make sure they can easily be
located during emergencies.

US citizens, the advisory added, were also advised to follow a review of the crime and safety report for Zimbabwe and always have contingency plans for emergencies.

The alert came less than two weeks after President Emmerson Mnangagwa narrowly escaped an assassination attempt after a suspected grenade went off shortly after he had addressed a Zanu PF campaign rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.

The government has described the attack as an act of terrorism and joint investigations by security agencies are currently underway.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo refused to comment over the US government’s alert, referring questions to the Foreign Affairs ministry.

“That is a Foreign Affairs matter. Get in touch with the Foreign Affairs ministry,” Khaya Moyo said.


Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo was not reachable for comment while permanent secretary in his ministry Joey Bimha said he was out of the country.

“I am out of the country at the moment. I haven’t seen the travel advisory,” Bimha said.

But MDC Alliance spokesperson Welshman Ncube said the United States made the assessment “using their own intelligence”.

“What we know is that the state of the situation is much more a result of the coup, the tension resulting on the leaders, anyone with a modicum of reasoning is aware of that,” Ncube said.

“The situation we have now is a result of the lack of trust among the security agencies after the coup and it creates an environment where people are not secure. These are some of the unknown consequences of the coup. We are living through them now.”

Political analyst Alexander Rusero, however, said: “The travel advisory is misguided and misplaced; it works against the spirit of Commonwealth of Nations where Zimbabwe is trying to reintegrate itself in a global community.”

He added: “We cannot say Zimbabwe is not a safe haven given the current climate where we have international observers in the country and no one had been displaced.

“It shows America has not shifted an inch since Mnangagwa took over. It is still guided by the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, the foreign policy pronouncement of 2001.”

14 Comments

  1. Zviroto, crime rate and civil unrest from where, from what we see on CNN its Zimbabwe which must issue a travel alert to those visiting USA cause of wanton shootings on innocent civilians

    1. wagona kutaura zvako iwe ndosaka ma americans vai bombwa na Osama

  2. @Eliasha marambidwa here kuita issue the travel warning alert yenyu. Just do it if you see that America is not safe enough for you and fellow Ediots. Nxaaa

    1. the leaders running the interium show are not that stupid to focus on trivilities like the american counterparts

  3. How could USA ‘move an inch” in justification of a coup? Instead it has moved inches further away until after free, fair and credible elections.

  4. POOR ELAISHA MUTAKATI

  5. Trump is struggling with his own issues.

  6. they are busy shooting each other in shools ,pubs, public places etc takambotaura nezvazvo. the Trumpet should stop trumpeting about zim & should deal about his people butchering each other with guns.

  7. This us wishful thinking on the part of the Americans. Fortunately there will be no spike in crime or unrest.

  8. Comment…Zim, we use bombs/grenades and in USA, they use guns. In Zim, we use tanks and armed soldiers to remove a president and in USA, they vote him out of office, no rigging and intimidation. Pasi nejunta

    1. And how many bombs and grenade explored in Zimbabwe at rallies? In truth, America is not safe at all,on safety grounds, Zimbabwe is way more safer despite its many challenges …. Kids shooting kids in schools,colleges, psychopath killing club or church goers because he is bored or doenst have a girlfriend,people killing there ex work colleagues, not to forget the likes Chicago,St Louis or Baltimore to name a few..

  9. There is peace in zimbabwe as compared to human rights abuses in America. Statistically how many people are reported dead due human rights abuse in America as compared to ZIM . HUYAI ZVAKANAKA KUZIMBABWE AND ENJOY THE PEACEFUL ZIMBABWE UNDER NEW DESPENSATION . ROBERT’S ERA IS GONE

  10. With all respect to my homeland, I tend to think if we dig deeper, we’ll see America is just as safe (or unsafe) as Zimbabwe. These issues are so relative and politics is quite a game. Hope Zimbabwe will develop its tourism regardless of any travel alerts.

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