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Letter to Magazine

In response to reports doing the rounds in 4x4 community forum.

Please be abundantly aware that every urban legend and every bit of exaggerated hearsay together with unsubstantiated reports of harassment by Mocambique police has devastating consequences for the South African Resort Owners trying to make ends meet in Mozambique.

The impression created by these reports is that this is the norm for Mozambique.

If there are genuine incidents such as those mentioned, then The Inhambane Hotel and Resort Owners Association, The Mozambique Police, The Department of Immigration and the Department of Tourism would very much like to have details to enable them to take the necessary action.

There have been numerous meetings with Resort Owners, the Association and these departments in an attempt to eradicate this type of behaviour.

The Association has come a long way in this regard, but find it very difficult to react to these reports without proper dates, times and names.

We know from experience that stories become exaggerated every time they are repeated and we also know that the basis of many of these stories are years old.

Let us give those Mozambique pioneers a break. They developed holiday resorts under harsh and arduous conditions and are now being punished by their own people.  If you have a genuine personal grievance, do the right thing and report it accurately to the right people. It helps little spreading wild dramatised rumours.

Sensational journalism over the last 12 months has done irreparable harm to those trying to survive in Mozambique.    
The Hotel and Resort Owners Association has published the telephone numbers of emergency contact persons who speak English and Portuguese and they know the law. All Resorts have been requested to supply their guests with these numbers prior to their visit.

Let us also straighten out some misconceptions:

Having said all of the above I believe that many problem situations are created or exacerbated by the arrogance and lack of respect on the behalf of a lot of South African visitors and investors. They seem to leave their manners and respect at home.

Another point to consider is, have you ever asked a visitor from Mozambique how he is treated by the South African authorities? You would be surprised and embarrassed.

I wish to place on record that if any one of these "victims" is prepared to be interviewed I will make myself available and will publish an apology if their story is accurate and current.

Failing which it would be a pleasant change if some of the S.A. media reporters would take the time and trouble to visit Mozambique for a first hand experience and then take a good look at what is happening on your own door step; the crime rate, the road traffic police, Home affairs offices, etc.

Posted on: 14 Sep, 2014 09:23