A friend of mine moved to Maputo in Mozambique 3 or 4 years ago and at that time, Timor-Leste had not even entered my radar screen. We have both had a laugh at ending up in old Portuguese colonies and two with some significant historic links. A few of the senior politicians here have spent quite a few years in Maputo during Indonesian times.
But I have never heard/seen Mozambique becoming a media issue over anything. However, my mate has urged me to exercise caution and provided a few security tips that apply in Maputo. Some of his advice includes :
- always travel outside work and home in a car with windows up and AC on re-circulate (to prevent the bad guys putting gas into the air vents)
- if you are on a bike (he assumes motorbike here) carry a machete or pepper spray, if you can get it
- it is essential to have barred windows on both your workplace and home, with razor wire on surrounding fences if you can get it
From his words, I have always assumed Maputo is a bit rougher than here. The recently released UNDP’s Human Development Report shows TL in position 142 and Mozambique at 168. It’s hard to compare some of the figures but TL’s life expectancy of 56 is well ahead of Mozambique’s 42.
But I have never heard my mate express a desire to leave Maputo, nor have I expressed a desire to leave here – yet.