AFRICANGLOBE – Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday laid the foundation stone for a huge new parliament.
The building which is to be located on farmland north-west of the capital, Harare, will have a total floor area of 33,000 square metres.
When completed it will replace the current parliament building, built in the colonial era, which the government has said is too small to house its more than 200 lawmakers.
The project will cost $46m, according to a 2016 report.
An artist’s impression of the building, which is being funded by China, has been shared by the information ministry:
Officials say the current colonial-era parliamentary building in the city centre is too small to accommodate lawmakers.
Mnangagwa said at the ceremony that China had provided a “grant, not a loan, to build a new parliament”, without giving a figure.
“Other facilities like banks, hotels will be built around this place,” Mnangagwa said adding that a “modern, smart city” was planned.
Mnangagwa took over from long-time leader Robert Mugabe who was ousted by the military in November 2017.
He has vowed to revive Zimbabwe’s economy that has been in ruins for nearly two decades due to American and European economic sanctions..
China has funded and provided loans for many infrastructure projects across Africa in recent years, ranging from roads and power plants to sports stadiums and government institutions.
Critics say China’s increasing sway over the continent undermines democracy and sovereignty.