US State Department Issues Travel Alert During Zimbabwe Elections


Published: March - 2008

The US State Department issued a special Zimbabwe Travel Alert in the run-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections in that southern African country scheduled for March 29. The Travel Alert expires May 1.

The Alert notes that previous elections in Zimabwe 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 alert says, the 2008 election season has the potential to generate widespread instability and violence.

I have pointed out previously that elections are on the agenda this spring in Zimbabwe, and I have told you they bear close watch. In my view, the new Travel Alert is a prudent, measured warning, as there is indeed a possibility of trouble in Zimbabwe during the upcoming election. The chances of that trouble spreading to the countryside, however, where hunts are conducted, are quite remote. The hunter who is met at the airport by a safari representative and who keeps his head down in urban areas and his mouth shut about politics should be fine.

What would I do if I had a safari booked to Zimbabwe? I would monitor events closely and stand fast on my booking, even during the election itself. Your own tolerance for ambiguity may be different, of course. Stating what I would do should not be taken on advice as to what you should do.

........(continued)

 
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