New City boost ED launches 650-seater new Parly build­ing project

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Fari­rai Machivenyika

PRES­I­DENT Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa yes­ter­day of­fi­cially launched the con­struc­tion of the new 650-seater Par­lia­ment Build­ing in Mt Ham­p­den, nearly 20 kilo­me­tres out­side Harare, that is ex­pected to be com­pleted by mid-2021 at the lat­est.

The build­ing is be­ing con­structed by the Shang­hai Con­struc­tion Group us­ing a grant of ap­prox­i­mately $98 mil­lion (RMB 676.43) ex­tended to Zim­babwe by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment.

The con­struc­tion of the new Par­lia­ment Build­ing is ex­pected to solve the space chal­lenges be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced at the cur­rent build­ing that has be­come too small for the 350 leg­is­la­tors.

The new Par­lia­ment Build­ing is part of Gov­ern­ment’s wider plans to es­tab­lish a new city in Mt Ham­p­den, where all three arms of the State will be housed.

In his ad­dress be­fore he broke the ground and laid the foun­da­tion stone, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said the new Par­lia­ment would en­hance the coun­try’s democ­racy.

“This in­fras­truc­ture will en­able par­lia­men­tar­i­ans to fully ex­e­cute their leg­isla­tive roles and fur­ther en­trench demo­cratic tenets in all facets of our so­ci­ety,” Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said.

He said Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans had a crit­i­cal role to play for the at­tain­ment of the coun­try’s Vi­sion 2030 that called for hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to duty.

“I urge all Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans to un­der­stand that they have a crit­i­cal role to play as they en­act and pass laws that will pro­pel the at­tain­ment of our na­tional vi­sion 2030,” said Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa.

“As such, hard work, dili­gence and com­mit­ment to duty must be a trait that is em­bed­ded in all Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans. In the Se­cond Re­pub­lic, non-at­ten­dance of meet­ings and dere­lic­tion of Par­lia­men­tary duty should not be tol­er­ated.”

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said the law was an in­stru­ment of de­vel­op­ment that should fa­cil­i­tate and pro­mote de­vel­op­ment and urged leg­is­la­tors to de­mand ur­gency in the pace of var­i­ous leg­isla­tive re­forms that were be­ing im­ple­mented.

“In ad­di­tion, MPs must be ac­count­able to the peo­ple both in­di­vid­u­ally and col­lec­tively, as they have the oner­ous bur­den to truly rep­re­sent the peo­ple that elected them into of­fice,” he said.

“I call upon all cit­i­zens to ac­count for all MPs with re­gards to their ac­tiv­i­ties in Par­lia­ment and leg­isla­tive agenda.”

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said the re­lo­ca­tion of Par­lia­ment would be a cat­a­lyst for other de­vel­op­ments.

“The re­lo­ca­tion of Par­lia­ment to Mt Ham­p­den will be a cat­a­lyst for sub­se­quent de­vel­op­ments through­out this area,” he said. “All three arms of the State will re­lo­cate here.

“We shall also de­velop other Gov­ern­ment build­ings, bank­ing halls, shop­ping malls, res­i­den­tial ar­eas and recre­ation fa­cil­i­ties which will cul­mi­nate in the emer­gence of a new city.”

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa thanked the Chi­nese Gov­ern­ment for pro­vid­ing the grant for the con­struc­tion of the new Par­lia­ment build­ing.

“This long awaited con­struc­tion of the new Par­lia­ment will be un­der­taken by Shang­hai Con­struc­tion Group and is funded by the Gov­ern­ment of the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China to the tune off RMB 676,43 mil­lion,” he said.

“We ex­press our pro­found grat­i­tude to the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment for their con­tin­ued sup­port of our var­i­ous de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes. We com­mend the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive un­der which in­fras­truc­ture de­vel­op­ment projects such as this one are be­ing un­der­taken in emerg­ing mar­kets.”

China has pro­vided fund­ing for var­i­ous in­fras­truc­ture pro­grammes in the coun­try, in­clud­ing the on­go­ing ex­pan­sion of the Hwange Ther­mal Power Sta­tion and the ex­pan­sion and mod­erni­sa­tion of the Robert Gabriel Mu­gabe In­ter­na­tional Air­port that will com­mence soon.

Early this year, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa com­mis­sioned and switched on the $533 mil­lion Kariba South Power Sta­tion Ex­ten­sion Project un­der­taken by China’s Sino Hy­dro, which added an­other 300 megawatts to the na­tional grid.

In 2016, the Gov­ern­ment com­mis­sioned the $153 mil­lion Vic­to­ria Falls In­ter­na­tional Air­port built by China Jiangsu In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomic and Tech­ni­cal Co­op­er­a­tion Group.

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa digs the foun­da­tion of the new Par­lia­ment build­ing at a ground­break­ing cer­e­mony, while Vice Pres­i­dents Con­stantino Chi­wenga (4th right) and Kembo Mo­hadi (2nd left), China’s Act­ing Am­bas­sador to Zim­babwe Cde Zhao Bao­gang, Cab­i­net Min­is­ters and Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials look on in Mt Hampt­den yes­ter­day. (Pic­ture by Justin Mu­tenda)

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