Addressing parliamentarians at a 2012 pre-national budget seminar in Victoria Falls recently, Moyo expressed concern that the proposed new co-mplex, to be built in Harare’s Kopje area, has been on the cards for too long.
“It is important to note that the new parliament building is a national asset which therefore places an obligation on government to endeavour to fund its construction as a matter of priority,” said Moyo.
The project has been on government plans for more than two decades. Renewed calls for the construction of a new parliament building comes in the wake of an increase in the number of lawmakers who are now 210. There are also 93 senators that use the same building.
Reports say that the proposed Parliament building was designed by local architects and would accommodate about 250 MPs and 200 senators. It was designed in such a way that it could be further renovated to accommodate about 500 MPs if the need arose.
Moyo said though he acknowledges latest government’s efforts in facilitating the acquisitions of Quality International Hotel for use by parliament there was still need to move to a bigger building.
The hotel will be used to accommodate legislators coming from outside the capital to attend parliamentary sessions. Moyo appealed to the Treasury to timeously release funds to procure furniture for the hotel.
A tender for the construction of the parliament building was awarded to a Chinese construction firm. It is expected that the proposed new complex, to cost about US$140 million, would also include flats for MPs representing non-Harare constituencies.
The landscaping of the Kopje Hill was done by the Chinese company in 2007 but work was stopped in 2008 due to lack of funding.
The current structure was built in 1895 as a hotel before being converted to a parliament in 1898.