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Reviewed: 20 August 2012, 12:30 NZDT
Still current at: 22 May 2013
There is some risk to your security in Zimbabwe due to underlying political tension and high levels of crime and we advise a high degree of caution. New Zealanders should be vigilant and maintain a high level of personal security awareness when travelling to Zimbabwe.
Civil unrest/political tension
The political situation in Zimbabwe remains unsettled, despite the formation of an inclusive government in February 2009. Reports of politically motivated intimidation and violence continue. New Zealanders are advised to avoid all demonstrations, rallies and large public gatherings as police and security forces will use force to suppress demonstrations and any perceived opposition to the Government.
Since 2000, most of Zimbabwe’s commercial farms have been forcefully taken over by members of the National War Veterans’ Association and other militants. We recommend you avoid travel to any area where war veterans are active or incidents of violence are taking place. You should heed any local advice about areas to avoid and keep yourself up to date with local developments. It is possible that New Zealanders may get caught up in violence directed at others.
Roadblocks are common throughout Zimbabwe. We advise you to comply with instructions issued by police at roadblocks and produce identification if asked. You should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times. It is an offence to continue driving when the President’s motorcade goes past, regardless of the side of the road you are on.
Levels of crime, including violent crime remain a concern. Armed robberies and car-jackings occur and there are reports that foreign residents have been targeted due to their perceived wealth. New Zealanders in Zimbabwe are advised to be security conscious at all times and maintain a low profile. We recommend you ensure your place of accommodation is secure at all times. Particular care should be taken when leaving banks or using Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs). We advise against the use of public transport and recommend you avoid travelling alone and after dark and to isolated areas.
The economic situation has improved with the adoption of the US dollar as accepted currency, although still remains fragile and prices can be inflated on some consumer items. Provision of basic services such as electricity, water and transport can be unreliable. Fuel shortages occur from time to time. Zimbabwean landlines are unreliable and mobile phone lines while more reliable, are also prone to failure or interference. There are shortages of essential medicines in hospitals and pharmacies and also trained medical staff.
Outbreaks of cholera and typhoid can occur. There was an outbreak of typhoid in Harare in December 2011.
General travel advice
New Zealanders in Zimbabwe should ensure their travel documents are kept up to date and readily available in case the security situation deteriorates and it becomes necessary to leave the country at short notice. New Zealanders should have their own contingency plan in place for departure. If the security situation deteriorates quickly, departure options may be severely limited.
As there is no resident New Zealand diplomatic or consular representation in Zimbabwe, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens is very limited.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Zimbabwe should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air.
New Zealanders in Zimbabwe are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Contact details are
Street Address 125 Middel Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, 0181 Pretoria, South Africa
Postal Address Private Bag X27, Brooklyn Square, Pretoria 0075, South Africa
Telephone +27 12 435 9000 Facsimile +27 12 435 9002
Website New Zealand High Commission Pretoria [external link]
Office Hours Mon - Fri 0800 - 1630hrs