Source: New Parly ahead of schedule | The Herald May 30, 2019
Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
THE construction of the New Parliament Building in Mt Hampden near Harare has started in earnest and is ahead of schedule, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo has said.
The construction of the New Parliament was expected be completed in 18 to 24 months.
Speaking at a familiarisation tour with presiding officers from Parliament and officials from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing yesterday, Minister Moyo said the construction of the New Parliament Building is progressing well.
“The construction of the New Parliament Building is far ahead of the scheduled time-frame. The contractor is now ahead by two weeks. The foundation stage has been completed, they are now moving to the next stage.
“All the resources including building materials have been put in place to ensure the successful completion of the project.
“As soon as the project is completed, National Assembly and Senate members will be moved to the state-of-the-art Parliament Building,” said Minister Moyo.
The minister said plans are underway to create a separate local authority.
“The new city will be formed by Harare City Council, Zvimba and Mazowe rural district councils.
“We are going to pursue Government’s plan of creating a separate local authority for the new Parliament,” he said.
He said the Government is constructing a world class smart city in Mt Hampden which is expected to lure potential investors.
“We want real investors, whom we believe can invest.
“Charles Prince Airport will be expanded to become a world class airport to ensure dignitaries who will want to visit the city will use the airport.
“There is need to construct upmarket houses, hotels, schools, hospitals and world class road network systems,” he said.
Minister Moyo said the local authority will become a planning authority.
“We are not going to follow all the steps of attaining a city status, but we will start with a highly-integrated modern city. A city in that manner is determined by infrastructure, not the population per se.”
He said the concept had already been submitted to Cabinet.
The new Parliament Building will be part of the new capital the Government wants to construct to decongest Harare.
Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda was impressed with the developments taking place at the construction site.
“As the leader of the delegation from Parliament, we are impressed by the level of work undertaken so far. The foundation of the new Parliament has been completed.
“We expect the new Parliament to incorporate the National Assembly members and the Senate.
“As you are aware, the National Assembly and Senate members are expected to be housed close to the new Parliament to cut transport and accommodation costs,” said Advocate Mudenda.
The project coordinator Mrs Lydia Mugore said maximum efforts are being made to complete the project as expected.
“Most of the raw materials are delivered on time. Cutting and bending of steel has been done.
“We are two weeks ahead of the scheduled time frame.
“We are working on a 24-hour shift to speed up the construction process. We have completed the foundation stage, now we are concentrating on the building structure,” she said.
She said the new Parliament Building is expected to employ a number of people.
“As the work is progressing, the contractor is expected to employ 800 workers. Two thirds of the employees are expected to be locals. At the moment plus or minus 500 people are employed here,” said Mrs Mugore.
A new Parliamentary complex will eventually also include flats for Parliamentarians representing non-Harare constituencies, saving large sums on allowances.
The building is being constructed by the Shanghai Construction Group using a grant of approximately $98 million (RMB 676,43 million) extended to Zimbabwe by the Chinese government.