Cablegate: Country Clearance for Political Officers Siko And
DE RUEHSB #0242/01 0820705
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 230705Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1290
INFO RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 5226
UNCLAS HARARE 000242
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA ZI
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR POLITICAL OFFICERS SIKO AND
REF: SECSTATE 36722
1. Embassy Harare grants country clearance and warmly
the visit of political officers John Siko and Kerry Varano
consultations with Embassy officials from March 25 to 30.
acknowledges that travelers hold top secret clearances.
2. The Embassy has confirmed your reservation for Harare's
hotel (corner of Jason Moyo and Third Street
in downtown Harare; tel 263-4-707-721; fax 263-4-707-753).
Non-smoking rooms are available upon request. The cost of
the room is USD $171.36 (government rate) per night which
includes breakfast and tourist levy. Payment for hotel must
be made in foreign currency.
3. Based on the current economic situation in the country,
using a credit card could significantly increase your
costs. Hotel payment must be made in U.S. cash or
travelers checks. U.S. travelers checks are difficult to
use except to pay hotel bills. Personal checks may be
cashed at the Embassy cashier only for local currency and
at the official exchange rate. Personal checks cannot be
cashed at the Embassy for U.S. currency. Post recommends
that travelers bring enough U.S. currency to cover
anticipated needs in Zimbabwe.
4. Control Officer for the visit will be Political officer
Mathew Gerard who can be reached during work hours at
263-3-250-593 extension 209; home at 263-4-496-778; and
cell phone at 263-(0)11-876-098;or via email at
An Embassy Driver will meet and assist at the airport.
5. Post strongly urges leaving Embassy Harare's telephone
number with family and business associates before departing
for Zimbabwe so that you can be quickly located in the
event of an emergency. The Embassy telephone number is
263-4-250-593. Marine Security Guard Post extension is
6. Several recent visitors transiting Johannesburg to
Harare have had items stolen from their luggage at
Johannesburg International Airport. Please ensure that
your luggage is locked and hand-carry valuable items.
7. Malaria is prevalent throughout Zimbabwe, except in
Harare. We strongly recommend the use of malaria
prophylaxes and adjunctive measures when traveling outside
8. The exchange rate is currently $250 Zim dollars to $1
USD, however this rate is subject to frequent change.
9. There is a non-waivable USD 30.00 per person departure
tax, payable at the airport upon leaving Zimbabwe in exact
change only. (Note: the Zimbabwean Government recently
began levying a USD 30.00 fee for US visitors in Zimbabwe,
but airport authorities have been instructed to waive this
fee for travelers with US diplomatic and official
passports. End note.)
10. Harare is designated a high crime post by the
Department of State. The Regional Security Officer (RSO)
is required to brief all TDY visitors staying more than one
week as soon as possible after their arrival at post.
While Harare is a clean and pleasant city, street crime is
a serious problem, particularly in tourist areas. Visitors
have found it safer not to carry valuables, but rather to
store them in hotel safety deposit boxes or safe rooms.
Walking alone or at night downtown is not recommended as
attacks have taken place on public streets and parks. The
RSO recommends leaving all important documents (passports,
plane tickets, etc.) in a hotel safe, and not wearing any
jewelry on the street. In addition, visitors should avoid
hanging a camera around their necks, carrying a protruding
wallet, and carry or showing large amounts of money in
public. We urge visitors to use the same security
precautions they would exercise in any urban area. Avoid
any large gatherings, demonstrations or political rallies
in both rural and urban areas. Occupied farms are also to
be avoided at all times.
11. Road safety/automobile travel: While traveling in
vehicles, doors should be kept locked and windows rolled
up. Car-jackings are common in Harare, and diplomatic
vehicles and personnel are not immune to these attacks by
armed thieves. Highway bandits are active on roads leading
to border areas.
12. As per Secstate 286036, TDYers must coordinate the
transport of official unclassified portable computers that
will be used within the USG controlled access facilities
with the RSO and ISSO.