Epitomising magnificence, the imposing six-storey circular Parliament Building in Mount Hampden sitting on a 70-metre platform above the picturesque surrounding area, symbolically projecting legislative supremacy, is now 100 percent complete, and ready for handover.
Breath-taking furnishings and top-notch equipment for offices and chambers have already been installed, with only works on two other parking lots and landscaping being outstanding, a recent visit to the site has shown.
Royalty greets the visitor from the main entrance of the superstructure, where two water fountains, inspired by one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders), the splendid Victoria Falls, majestically tells the Zimbabwean story of beauty and an enduring legacy of peace.
On either side of the impressive stepladders and squares are four pillars at the top of which eight Zimbabwe birds are perched.
The construction of the building, whose concept was born in 1983 with the Kopje area in Harare as the proposed site, is being undertaken on a six-hectare stand in Mount Hampden, about 18km north-west of Harare along Old Mazowe Road, thus creating opportunities for a new city project.
The project was made possible by a grant from the government of the People’s Republic of China through China-Aid. Feasibility studies were carried out by the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design Company Limited in 2015.
It was designed by China SIPPR Engineering Group, and Shanghai Construction Group, a global construction behemoth, was the contractor.
The Government of Zimbabwe also expended US$2,4 million towards enabling works to kick-start the project.
The designs for the New Parliament Building, which embody Zimbabwean culture and heritage enshrined in the Great Zimbabwe monument were completed and approved in October 2017. Works on the project commenced in November 2018 and were completed on May 27, 2022.
The project, which comprises four floors on the Parliament side and an adjacent six-storey office building, encompasses a Chamber House, containing the 350-seat National Assembly and 100-seat Senate.
The interior of the New Parliament Building in Mt Hampden A 108-seat gallery overlooks the National Assembly, while an 84-seat gallery overlooks the Senate. There are also 24 interpreters’ rooms for both the National Assembly and the Senate; 12 for each House, which are linked to the state-of-the-art public address system.