Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Threatened State of Emergency Extended 90 Days (July 13, 2017)

The U.S. Embassy would like to inform all U.S. citizens that the threatened state of emergency announced by the President of the Republic of Zambia on July 5, 2017 was ratified by Zambia’s National Assembly on July 11, and extended for a period of 90 days.

Article 31 of the country’s Constitution invokes the Preservation of Public Security Act, which grants the President authority to, among other actions, prohibit, restrict, or control public assemblies; control movement into, out of, and between residential properties; and direct the arrest of individuals. The Act also allows police to detain suspects without charge or warrant for up to seven days; to hold suspects without bail under a specific charge; and to conduct warrantless searches of property or vehicles.

As of July 13, the Zambian government has not published specific actions that law enforcement may take to implement the President’s declaration, though warrantless arrests, raids, and transit interruptions might occur in the interim.

U.S. citizens are reminded that demonstrations can occur at any time and can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should therefore avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.

You should review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates on political rallies and traffic disruptions. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.

For further information: