Industry and Trade minister Welshman Ncube says he has tabled a proposal to have the planned new Parliament built in Bulawayo to the Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga.
Ncube, who is also the MDC president, said he was now planning to meet his counterpart to discuss the move he believes would help spur development in the country’s second biggest city.
In April last year, there were reports plans to construct a new Parliament building at Harare’s Kopje area were on course with a Chinese delegation expected at the end of this month to start the groundwork.
The current Parliament building along Nelson Mandela Avenue — converted from a hotel that went bankrupt in the 1890s — is now too small for 210 legislators.
Ncube said he believed it would make sense to set up the new structure in Bulawayo.
“We submitted our documents to the Minister of Constitutional Affairs and I said I would also make time to meet him,” he said at the weekend.
Ncube underscored benefits of moving Parliament to Bulawayo, saying the arrangement had succeeded elsewhere in the region.
“If you live in a country such as ours, where you have challenges in terms of economic activities in some parts of the country and de-industrialisation in Bulawayo, bringing one strong arm of the government to Bulawayo would help solve the problems,” he said.
“That way, we will make Bulawayo the city of Parliament, just as in South Africa, Cape Town is the city of parliament and Pretoria, the city of government.
“It will mean elected officials would have an appreciation of issues and challenges in Bulawayo, which is not the case at the moment.
“Some of them have never been to Bulawayo. If we genuinely believe in equity, it is appropriate different sectors of the government are located in different regions.”