Home Local PICS: New Zim Parliament, a ‘testimony to Zim democracy progress’

PICS: New Zim Parliament, a ‘testimony to Zim democracy progress’

THE iconic and imposing six-storey circular Parliament building, that stands as an epitome of the deep bilateral relations between Harare and Beijing is a heritage to Zimbabweans and also a precursor to the birth of a new city in Mt Hampden just outside Harare.

Festooned with breathtaking furniture, top-notch gadgets, and a motley of chambers the majestic building is only but one of several other projects that the Second Republic has embarked on, and embodies Zimbabwe’s belief in constitutionalism through the separation of powers principle.

Yesterday, the President, whose administration is on a modernisation and industrialisation mission as it aims to make Zimbabwe an upper-middle class economy by 2030, said the now complete project is in part crystallisation of Zimbabwe’s vision.

Briefing journalists, President Mnangagwa said construction of the Parliament building was extended to him by Chinese leader, President Xi Jinping during a visit to China.

“When the Second Republic came in November 2017, I was then invited by His Excellency Xi Jinping, to visit the People’s Republic of China in April 2018, so when I met him, after the formal discussions we had a private discussion with His Excellency and asked what I would want China to do for the Second Republic, I requested for this Parliament and he agreed and gave (it to us) as a grant,” he said.

Other projects that the two leaders discussed during the private meeting were the Hwange Unit 7 and 8 and Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, which were both granted on a concessionary loan. Both projects are nearing completion.

President Mnangagwa, a former Speaker of Parliament, said in his considered view, the spectacular New Parliament in Mt Hampden is one of a kind and surpasses other similar houses through its architectural designs that are inspired partly by the country’s famed Great Zimbabwe.

“So as a result of that visit we have this Parliament today.

“This is the most magnificent Parliament I know personally that I have visited, it’s a heritage for our country and the design show the history of our country, you will realise there is the Zimbabwe bird, conical tower replicated here. We feel very proud as Zimbabweans,” he said.

The new Parliament will anchor the new city at Mount Hampden where it is envisaged Government Ministries and departments will be housed, said President Mnangagwa.

After touring the New Parliament, the President addressed a sizeable crowd that included Zanu PF supporters where he reiterated the importance of the bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and China.

“President Xi asked what I would want which he would grant at political level without going through negotiations but as a political decision, of course being former Speaker of Parliament myself I was fully aware of the inadequacies of the current Parliament so I said we wish to have a Parliament and he said, granted, ‘we give you as a grant free of charge’ so there is Parliament, the most magnificent Parliament fully furnished by the people’s Republic of China, there it is, very soon we are going to put a date when it will be commissioned,” he said.

In an interview, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo, whose portfolio superintended the construction works, said they have started the process of requesting China through the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ministry and the Chinese Embassy to agree on a date for the official opening of the new Parliament.

“We are anxious to open the Parliament because there is too much that is inside and once we have been handed over, we would also now want to hand it over to Parliament. The Parliament is ready and the good thing is, if it is handed over tomorrow, it is ready for Parliament to move in,” he said.

Shanghai Construction Group project manager Mr Cai Libo said they were proud to contribute to the development of Zimbabwe.

“This is the solid friendship between Zimbabwe and China. This building will definitely be a landmark in Zimbabwe because it is the first project in the new city which is developing in Mount Hampden,” he said.

Residents of Mount Hampden hailed developmental projects that have come with the New Dispensation.

Mr Jackson Mutamirepi said they were happy with the transformation which was taking place in their area.

“We now house a state-of-the-art Parliament which is second to none in Africa. We are happy because this has made our properties here in Mount Hampden to appreciate in value. Currently, houses are being built in Mount Hampden which shows that the area is going to grow and this will create more opportunities for us the locals. There are also infrastructural projects going on around such roads,” he said.

Another resident, Mr Passmore Muzezewa said. “The building of the parliament will create employment for us which is a great opportunity for us. The Parliament has also put Mount Hampden on the Zimbabwean map and this will help in the development of the area.”

Mrs Tabita Chamukira echoed the same sentiments and said they were happy with the building of the New Parliament as it will create opportunities for the locals.

“We thank the President for remembering us and we would like to see more developments taking place in our area as this will increase the value of our properties,” she said. – Herald

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