China has released an initial tranche of 46 million U.S. dollars for the construction of a new parliament building in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, a Zimbabwe official has said.
“The Chinese government has released 46 million dollars for the new parliament building in Mt. Hampden and right now work has started on road construction and we hope that after two and half years the new parliament will have been completed,” Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda was quoted as saying by the state-run Herald newspaper on Tuesday.
China has pledged to construct the building for free. The new 650-seat parliament building will replace the current one that was said to be too small for parliamentary business.
The speaker said space shortages in the current parliament building, constructed during the colonial era, were forcing many legislators to conduct business while standing in aisles.
“The current parliament that we are using can only cater for 120 people but now we have more than 270 legislators, so there is a serious shortage of space in the House,” he said.
The new parliament building is being built in Mt. Hampden, 18 km northwest of Harare and the site for a proposed new and modern city to replace the current capital.