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Take a 'rest day' during shutdown, Zim tourism blog advises visitors

06 July 2016, 15:25 News24 Correspondent

Harare - What should foreign tourists who are caught up in Zimbabwe's national shutdown on Wednesday do?

One local travel blog is suggesting they opt for a "rest day".

The Great Zimbabwe Guide wrote: "Tourists in Zim cities may wish to consider the democratic rights of Zimbabweans in the tourist industry at this time and schedule a 'rest day' accordingly."

Access to some social media platforms was difficult in Zimbabwe early on Wednesday, but by lunchtime anger appeared to be growing online against shops and cafes that had opened for business in Harare.

Shopping centre Sam Levy's Village in Borrowdale, which is popular with tourists and diplomats, was reported to be quiet on Wednesday morning. 

Threats were circulated on WhatsApp on Tuesday against businesses that chose to remain open.

Embassies warn citizens 

Foreign embassies updated their advice to citizens ahead of Wednesday's shutdown, which comes on the back of mounting anger over cash shortages, plans to introduce "bond notes", a ban on foreign imports and police heavy-handedness, including at the many roadblocks dotted across the country's road network.

UK in Zimbabwe, the website of the British embassy in Zimbabwe, said in an update posted on Tuesday that UK citizens should "avoid all demonstrations and rallies".

The Swedish embassy said it was aware of reports that unrest "could escalate during Wednesday 6 July".

"Swedes in Harare and Zimbabwe are advised to be extra attentive in connection with this... avoid crowds and demonstrations," it added.

Tourists have been venturing back into Zimbabwe in recent years. The southern African nation was largely shunned by foreign visitors during the 2000-8 economic and political crisis.

The Great Zimbabwe Guide said: "The outcome of Wednesday's plan to ?#‎ShutdownZimbabwe ?is anyone's guess - but it points to a growing sense of frustration at Zimbabwe's current government."

- News24


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