Construction the new Makombe Building, which has taken 20 years is nearing completion Home Affairs ministry secretary, Melusi Matshiya told Parliament recently.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
The multi-storey complex is expected to accommodate various departments under the of Home Affairs ministry, among them the Registrar-General’s offices and Department of Immigration
Matshiya told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs that they were expecting to complete the building, possibly next month.
The building, located near the old passport offices, had been under construction for more than two decades, as the government cited severe financial challenges.
“The new government complex was a three-year project and it should have been completed in 2000, but most companies or suppliers that were supposed to supply materials closed down resulting in it taking 20 years to complete,”he said.
“Treasury was making efforts to see to it that it is completed and the National Housing ministry, which is the project manager had to make new arrangements to facilitate completion of the building,” he said.
Matshiya told the committee that during the Zimbabwean dollar era, the government had ordered materials like tiles, kitchen and other fittings from industries in Bulawayo, but the industries closed before they could deliver the products.
“For instance, kitchens were ordered from Treggers in Bulawayo a long time ago. Treggers is still operational, but the drawers that were supposed to be fitted in 2000 were no longer in production,” he said.
“We needed to change the specifications and we had to re-negotiate with Treggers in Bulawayo to bring back those fittings. It took years to ensure we get those floors. If you get to the first floor of the building the ceiling was bought from South Africa and the company was no longer producing the same ceiling and they had to import from the United Kingdom,” he said.
The Home Affairs secretary said shelving, cabling as well as computer configuration in the building need to be completed in order for it to begin operating soon.
“We want the building to operate as soon as possible — even next month. Departments like immigration have been paying rentals at Linquenda House in Harare at $14 000 per month, yet they get $100 000 per month only as retention,” he said.