Britain to withdraw some staff from its Harare embassy


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Britain yesterday said it was withdrawing “a limited” number of its UK staff and their dependents from its embassy in Harare because of the rapidly changing situation in the region.

In a foreign travel advice on Zimbabwe in view of the outbreak of the coronavirus, the United Kingdom government said the embassy would continue to carry out essential work including “providing 24/7 consular assistance and support to British people in Zimbabwe”.

Zimbabwe is under a national lockdown until 17 May but this could be extended.

It has 21 active cases of the coronavirus, nine recoveries and four deaths.

Ironically, despite the lockdown and the prohibition of gatherings of more than 50 people, the UK government warns its citizens to “avoid any political gatherings or demonstrations”.

“These can be unpredictable, can turn violent without notice and the response from the security forces may be disproportionate. You should exercise a high degree of caution and monitor local media and this travel advice for updates,” it says.

As of last night Britain had nearly 180 000 active cases of the coronavirus and 31 241 deaths.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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