Bridget Mananavire 9 June 2017
HARARE – National Assembly speaker Jacob Mudenda has written to a Chinese
contractor responsible for building a new $46 million Parliament building
in Mt Hampden that construction may start by August.
Mudenda said the delay in the construction of the bigger Parliament –
initially slated to start in December – had been caused by government
failure to install necessary utilities.
“I think they were trying to accommodate us as the Government of Zimbabwe,
in terms of providing access roads, water and electricity.
“They cannot start construction if those three utilities are not in
place,” Mudenda told a news conference on Wednesday.
“I know the contractors had indicated that (they would start) by December,
but we have written to say that now we are going to complete the necessary
infrastructure by the end of June, they should bring forward their
construction dates to maybe around August.
“Why is it so? Those three infrastructures that have got to be put in
place are a responsibility of the Government of Zimbabwe.
“The actual building is the Chinese’s baby; they will do that obviously
under the supervision of our local engineers and architects so that we
have a qualitative product that will be completed by the Chinese.
`Not that we doubt their quality assurance, but we want to be satisfied
that we are getting a product that will last for the next 100 years, 200
“This building here is clocking almost 100 years and is still very intact.
That’s the type of quality assurance that we must insist upon.”
The new building is expected to deal with congestion problems in the
bicameral Parliament and is expected to accommodate about 650 Members of
The Chinese government pledged to fund the construction of the new
Parliament as a gift to Zimbabwe.
“The infrastructure work in terms of the roads leading to Mt Hampden is
work in progress, should be completed at the end of this month,” Mudenda
“Another necessary infrastructure, there is water reticulation so that the
availability of water at the building site again, that also is on course
(and) should be completed end of this moth or end of July.
“The other utility . . . electricity, which should also be completed by
end of this month.”