New city to at­tract $10bn in­vest­ments

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - In­no­cent Ruwende Se­nior Re­porter

GOV­ERN­MENT is look­ing at at­tract­ing $10 bil­lion worth of in­vest­ments for a new city to sprout around the new Par­lia­ment Build­ing in Mt Ham­p­den.

The new Par­lia­ment Build­ing is part of Gov­ern­ment’s wider plans to es­tab­lish a city to house all three arms of the State.

Ad­dress­ing the me­dia at his of­fices in Harare yes­ter­day, Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing Min­is­ter July Moyo said the con­cept of a new city was in­formed by mod­ern think­ing about fu­tur­is­tic and smart cities.

“All the mod­ern think­ing about fu­tur­is­tic smart cities is what is in­form­ing us. Go­ing for­ward, we have talked to our lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and in­formed them that they should be fu­tur­is­tic when con­struct­ing even a ru­ral cen­tre,” he said.

Gov­ern­ment’s con­sul­tant on the project, ar­chi­tect Hil­lary Mukaratirwa, said all cru­cial Gov­ern­ment de­part­ments would set their bases in the new city.

“We are look­ing at $10 bil­lion in­vest­ment into the new city. Cities grow in stages, but we are ex­pect­ing that in five years all cru­cial Gov­ern­ment de­part­ments are go­ing to move to the new city.

“For ex­am­ple, the Min­istry of Fi­nance, Home Af­fairs and other Gov­ern­ment de­part­ments which have noth­ing to do with the pub­lic will move to the new city. It is part of de-con­gest­ing Harare. Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment will stay here to­gether with most Gov­ern­ment de­part­ments.”

He said there would be a par­lia­men­tary vil­lage with vil­las for par­lia­men­tar­i­ans to avoid wastage of re­sources in ho­tel bills for leg­is­la­tors dur­ing ev­ery sit­ting.

Mr Mukaratirwa said con­struc­tion of the new Par­lia­ment Build­ing had be­gun and should take 30 months to com­plete.

“By the end of 2019 all mas­ter plans for the city will be com­plete. It is go­ing to be a smart city with mod­ern in­fra­struc­ture. We are in the con­sul­ta­tive process. We have to den­sify be­cause land is fi­nite. We are not go­ing to see 2 000 square me­tre plots. We are go­ing to build up­wards. Den­si­fi­ca­tion means that travel dis­tances be­come short,” he said.

Min­is­ter Moyo said the $98 mil­lion (RMB 676,43 mil­lion) grant from China Aid for the con­struc­tion of the Par­lia­ment Build­ing was the sec­ond largest grant that China had given to Africa for such a project.

“The big­gest that they gave was for African Union (AU) Build­ing which was built in Ad­dis Ababa, Ethiopia. This is the largest that they have built for a coun­try. So we are very grate­ful to the Chi­nese that they have seen it fit to do this be­cause of our friend­ship and be­cause of that the ten­der­ing sys­tem was done in China, which is nor­mal,” he said.

“When the Amer­i­cans gave us a grant to buy lo­co­mo­tives, the ten­der was done for Amer­i­can com­pa­nies only. Four Chi­nese com­pa­nies com­peted for the ten­der to build the new Par­lia­ment and Shang­hai Con­struc­tion Group won it.”

He said the Chi­nese would be us­ing a lot of lo­cal labour and a small con­tin­gent of ex­perts.

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