Cablegate: Country Clearance Granted for Steven Smith And
DE RUEHTO #0869/01 2041409
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231409Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7658
UNCLAS MAPUTO 000869
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EINV OTRA OPIC MI KE MZ
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE GRANTED FOR STEVEN SMITH AND
NATHAN BAYER TO TRAVEL TO MOZAMBIQUE.
REF: STATE 98847
1. Embassy Maputo welcomes and grants country clearance for
Steven Smith and Nathan Bayer to travel to Mozambique, from
July 24, 2007 through July 26, 2007. The purpose of this
travel is to conduct site visit to the following projects:
Central African Railway, Corredor do Norte, Jopa Villas,
and Geosurvey. Please inform and advise regarding any
schedule or itinerary changes; refer to paragraph 13
regarding visa requirements.
2. Control Officer: Brooke Williams, Economic Officer,
will be control officer. She can be contacted at:
-- Office telephone: (258) 2149-27-97, ext.3422
-- Office fax: (258) 2149-35-74
-- Cellular: (258) 82-300-0834
3. Hotel Reservations and Expeditor: Post understands that no
assistance is required for hotel reservations.
Expeditor will pick up and drop off at airport.
4. Medical Services: Maputo has limited medical facilities.
Visitors will have to be medevaced in the event of a major
injury or illness. In the past, we have had visitors face
serious medical difficulties because details of their
medevac insurance were not readily available. Direct Hire
employees (not contractors) of the Department of State,
USAID, Department of Defense, CDC, and Peace Corps need not
take any further action. Direct Hire employees of other
U.S Government agencies are requested to provide to their
control officer before arrival a name and 24-hour point of
contact for their agency that can authorize medical
evacuation. Contractors are requested to provide to their
control officer before arrival the name, phone number, and
policy number of their medevac insurance provider(s) for
use in case of emergency.
5. Health: Travelers are advised that chloroquine
resistant malaria is present in Mozambique. The most
recent guidance from the Department of State Medical Office
recommends weekly use of mefloquine as the drug of choice
for malaria prophylaxis in chloroquine-resistant areas.
Mefloquine must be started one to two weeks before arriving
at post. Daily doxycycline is an alternative regimen.
Doxycycline must be started three days before arriving at
post. Both malaria prophylaxis medications must be
continued for four weeks after departing post.
6. Security and Required Briefing: TDY visitors spending
more than 48 hours in Mozambique must obtain a security
briefing from the EmbassyQs Regional Security Office. The
biggest threat facing U.S. citizens visiting Mozambique is
crime. The State Department has designated Mozambique a
critical-threat post for crime. Street crime and vehicle
hijackings are common and can be violent. Visitors must be
vigilant when out in public areas and should not display
jewellery or other items of high value. Visitors should
avoid carrying backpacks or purses, as these can draw
unwanted attention of would-be muggers. Isolated areas,
such as along the Marginal (the Maputo road along the sea),
should be avoided as joggers and pedestrians have been
mugged frequently, even during daylight hours.
7. There are no known terrorist groups active in Mozambique
and no current indications that U.S. citizens are being
targeted by terrorist organizations.
8. The police are poorly paid, poorly equipped, and lack
the professionalism that U.S. citizens are accustomed to in
the United States. Visitors requiring emergency assistance
should not rely on local emergency services, but should
contact the Marine Security Guard at Post One at (21) 49-
27-97. Mozambican law requires that all persons carry an
identity document, such as a passport, when out in public
and produce it if requested by police. A copy of passport
identity and visa pages is acceptable. There are certain
areas in the city of Maputo where pedestrian traffic is
prohibited, e.g., in front of the presidential offices
located north of the Hotel Polana on the seaside of Avenida
Julius Nyerere and on the Monument to Mozambican Heroes
near the Maputo airport. Such areas are sometimes marked
with international "no trespassing" signs/symbols.
9. Overland travel after dark is extremely dangerous due to
poor road conditions, lack of emergency services, and the
increased potential for vehicle hijackings. Official
Americans serving in Mozambique, including those on TDY,
are prohibited from overland travel outside city limits
during the hours of darkness.
10. Consular Registration: All TDY visitors spending more
than two workdays in Maputo are required to register with
the Consular Section in the Chancery to ensure that the
Mission has current emergency contact information for each
visitor. Please bring your passport to your security
briefing to have a notarized copy made.
11. Financial Matters: With the exception of the main
hotels, Mozambique is essentially a cash economy. Credit
cards are of limited utility. Vendors will accept U.S.
dollars (or at times South African rand) in lieu of the
local currency, the metical. For a day trip to Maputo, we
recommend visitors bring with them USD 100 in cash for
spending money. Dollars can be exchanged at any bank or
currency exchange facility. Embassy Maputo recommends
against the use of travellers checks, as transaction
charges are uniformly high. Please note that Embassy
Maputo will need fiscal data in the event that extensive
services or goods are required during the visit.
Mozambican Airlines (LAM) accepts the American Express
credit card. Please note that charge limits are in effect
on most credit card transactions, and hotel bills need to
be settled every few days.
12. Currency: On July 1, 2006, Mozambique introduced its
new currency: the New Metical (abbreviated MTn.) At
current exchange rates, 1 USD equals approximately 26 MTn.
The largest New Metical note is 1,000 MTn and the smallest
New Metical note is 20 MTn. For further guidance, please
refer to the images of the New Metical on our intranet site
13. Visas and Airport Departure Taxes: Visas are required
for entry into Mozambique, and Embassy Maputo urges
travellers to have them prior to travelling. Travellers
arriving from a country without a Mozambican embassy can
get visas at the airport or land border entry points for 25
USD or 550 MTn. Those arriving from a country with a
Mozambican embassy can obtain visas at the airport or land
border entry points for 25 USD. There is an airport
departure tax payable only in cash, of 20 USD or equivalent
in Metical (500 MTn) or Rand for regional flights, 8 USD
for domestic flights and 20 USD for intercontinental
14. Luggage Precautions: Post urges travelers to keep in
mind restrictions on carry-on luggage on international
flights. At present, there are restrictions on carrying
liquids, gels, and cosmetics on board international flights
leaving the United States.
15. Travelers also should bear in mind that security of
checked baggage is a significant problem for travelers who
transit Johannesburg airport. Many items have been stolen
from checked bags, including the checked bags themselves.
The items stolen most often are electronics (including I-
Pods, cameras, and alarm clocks), toiletries (such as
cosmetics, soap, shaving kits and cologne) and shoes
(especially running/athletic shoes). A LOCKED BAG DOES NOT
ENSURE SECURITY. One security measure that seems to meet
with some success is to have your luggage stretch-wrapped
at your point of departure. The stretch-wrapping makes it
more difficult for the thieves to gain access to your
luggage. Be aware that flights between Johannesburg and
Maputo are often serviced by a small plane with little
space for carry-on luggage. This may require passengers to
check their larger carry-on items. Please ensure your
valuables are kept in a bag small enough to carry on your
lap to keep them with you at all times. We take this
problem very seriously and are doing what we can to help
aid a solution. In brief, please:
-- Leave behind irreplaceable valuables;
-- Always lock your bags;
-- Have your luggage stretch-wrapped when possible;
-- Keep your valuables with you in a small carry-on;
-- Make sure that your carry-on luggage complies with
current international restrictions/regulations.