Zimbabwe Public Announcement
Issued by US Department of State
May 16, 2002
This Public Announcement alerts American citizens to the situation in
Zimbabwe following that country's March 2002 presidential election. This
Public Announcement supersedes the one issued for Zimbabwe on April 2, 2002,
and will expire on August 1, 2002.
U.S. citizens in Zimbabwe should be aware of continuing conditions that
could adversely affect their personal security. The political, social,
economic, and security situation in Zimbabwe remains fluid. There continue
to be incidents of land seizures, police roadblocks, political violence and
intimidation in urban, and especially rural areas. The possibility of mass
demonstrations cannot be discounted. Growing food shortages and increasing
numbers of internally displaced persons have added to social and economic
The Government of Zimbabwe has enacted the Public Order and Security Act,
which makes it an offense to "undermine the authority of the President" or
"engender hostility" towards him. This includes speaking negatively of the
President in public. The bill also bars individuals from speaking
negatively of the police and carrying weapons of any kind. The Government
has also enacted the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
which, among other things, deals with the abuse of journalistic privilege.
Journalists, including Americans, have been detained on charges stemming
from this Act.
American citizens should avoid public demonstrations or large gatherings and
refrain from taking pictures or videos of political events of any kind.
Americans should also monitor the local and international media for
developments that may affect their safety. Additionally, American citizens
should exercise caution when traveling anywhere in Zimbabwe, should travel
with reputable tour operators and are urged to register with the U.S.
Embassy, located at 172 Herbert Chitepo Ave., in the capital, Harare,
For additional information on travel to Zimbabwe, please consult the
Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet for Zimbabwe, as
well as the World Wide Caution Public Announcement, available via the
Internet at http://travel.state.gov.