PUBLIC Works minister Joel Gabbuza on Monday professed ignorance over the new Mount Hampden Parliament building, saying he had not been informed about the multimillion dollar project pushed by the Local Government ministry.
Report by Veneranda Langa
Gabbuza said this before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Works chaired by Mutasa North MP David Chimhini.
“The issue of the new Parliament building is a bit tricky because as a ministry, we do not have much information about it and we only read that it was now going to be built in Mount Hampden from newspapers,” Gabbuza said.
“The project was supposed to be at Kopje and government just stopped it and now it is being spearheaded by the Local Government ministry.”
Gabbuza said there was conflict of interest within ministries as his ministry had done designs for the new Parliament building at the Kopje using a Zimbabwean architecture, but Chinese contractors had been recruited to do work at Mount Hampden and their designs had no Zimbabwean influence.
On the slow progress to convert Quality International Hotel into a hotel for MPs, Gabbuza blamed Parliament for taking long to appoint a hotel manager who would advise on how the rooms should be refurbished.
He told the committee that $400 000 was spent every month, translating to $4,8 million per year, on rentals of government space.
The committee was also told that Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s residence was almost complete, but storm water drains needed repairs as they were leaking, causing flooding.
On the United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly, Gabbuza said civil works had begun on the convention centre, but the project had stopped due to shortage of funds.
“A total of 400 projects are incomplete due to lack of funding. A lot of materials are lying idle and at Beitbridge Border post, 600 bags of cement have hardened. At Mvuma hospital, raw materials are stored at the mortuary because they do not have a storeroom,” he said.