Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

Zimbabwe: Harare starts building new parliament.

Zimbabwe will in the months ahead be given a new look when the new parliament building gets to completion. Incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa this Friday laid the foundation stone that gave the green light for the construction of a new parliament. At the ceremony, President Mnangagwa said that Beijing had provided a “grant, not a loan, to put up a new parliament”. Mnangagwa did not however disclose the amount.

The incumbent reiterated that “Other facilities like banks, hotels will be built around this place,” adding that a “modern, smart city” was designed. To be built outside the capital city Harare, this project is funded by the Peoples Republic of China. According to reports from a local news outlet; the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, the impressive spherical complex will be constructed over 32 months, under the supervision of the Shanghai Construction group at Mount Hampden, 18 kilometers (11 miles) north-west of Harare.  In the meantime, Officials have argued that the present colonial-era parliamentary building in the city centre is not spacious enough to contain lawmakers.

Since Mnangagwa took over the leadership of Zimbabwe from then ruler Robert Mugabe, he has promised to restore the country’s economy that has been fragile for nearly two decades. Harare and Beijing have had good relations since Mnangagwa took over the reins from Mugabe in November 2017.  Both nations are at the verge of enhancing their cooperation in all spheres. In recent times, China has funded and provided loans for many infrastructure projects across the continent, from roads and power plants to sports stadiums and government institutions.

Notwithstanding, critics are of the view that Beijing’s growing influence over the continent may undermine democracy and autonomy.

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