Zimbabwe Country Report
The removal of former president Robert Mugabe in the November 2017 palace coup, following the rebellion from the army, ended ZANU-PF's internal succession battle and opened a new chapter in the country's history. Mugabe resigned as president on 21 November 2017 and Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as interim president on 24 November 2017. The post-Mugabe administration's first budget has signalled a change in local ownership rules and regulatory reforms, improving the business environment ahead of the 2018 elections and re-engaging with the international community. The rival Grace Mugabe-led 'Generation 40' allies are likely to be purged in the run-up to the elections in 2018. Violent confrontations between opposition groups protesting over stalled electoral reforms and the securityforces are also likely to increase.
The ruling ZANU-PF party has focused its policy outlook on indigenisation and announced measures to stimulate local beneficiation in the agricultural and mining sectors. Potential for incremental policy moderation has been raised by ongoing economic challenges and as the authorities seek greater international re-engagement, including with the International Monetary Fund. Nevertheless, policy uncertainty in the run-up to 2018 elections is likely to continue to deter significant investment. Infrastructure development plans outlined in ZANU-PF's ZimAsset economic blueprint and the 2018 budget are likely to be impacted by capital challenges.
No major organised non-state armed groups are active against the government. Instead, Zimbabwe faces politically motivated violence from the opposition, which will be exacerbated by demands for electoral reform, and crime driven by socio-economic hardships. Key hotspots for politically motivated violence and unrest include urban centres such as Harare and Bulawayo, and rural regions in Manicaland, Masvingo, and Mashonaland East provinces. Large numbers of refugees at international border posts would increase the risk of delays and insecurity along major cross-border routes, such as the Beitbridge border post with South Africa.
Violent inter-state confrontations between Zimbabwe and its neighbours are unlikely. Political campaign rallies held by the ZANU-PF, as well as the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Zimbabwe (MDC-T), increases the risk of fighting between opposing party members, or between citizens and security forces. Confrontations are likely to take place in the main cities such as Harare or Bulawayo, increasing the risk of injury to passing-by expatriates, damage to high street property, and closure of roads.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for all individuals traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Flash flooding during the rainy season (November to February) can impact travel and leave certain roads impassable.
Road accidents in Zimbabwe present a serious danger to travelers. Vehicles are often overcrowded, highways are narrow, and large potholes can cause drivers to swerve at high speeds. Due to poor maintenance and frequent power outages, some traffic lights are not functional. Local drivers often use hazard lights in intersections with malfunctioning traffic lights. Zimbabwean police are mostly funded through fines collected at roadblocks and often pull people over to levy spot fines for traffic infractions.
Of note, it is an offense to continue driving when the president's motorcade drives by, no matter which side of the road you are on. Pull over to the side of the road and wait until it passes; a number of instances have been reported of security forces assaulting individuals for not stopping soon enough.
Finally, shortages of food, fuel, water, and medication regularly affect hundreds of thousands of people in the country, especially in rural areas. During the dry season (May-October), lengthy power outages are common due to the low level of the Zambezi River; most of the country's electricity comes from hydroelectric sources. Mobile and landline phone networks are largely unreliable.
Zimbabwe's climate is tempered by its high elevation; the entire country is essentially located on a plateau. The winter (May to October) is hot and sunny during the day but cool at night; conditions are warmer and more humid in the Lowveld and Zambezi Valley. The summer (November to April) is rainy and violent but brief storms are common; humidity levels are very high and often stifling.
|Ambulance:||994 (only Harare)|
Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz