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Int'l Engagement

Zimbabwean president hails new Chinese-built parliament



After three and a half years of construction, Zimbabwe's new China-funded hilltop parliament building has been completed and is ready to be handed over to the authorities.

The sprawling 3.3-hectare campus is a gift from China and aimed at strengthening the solidarity and friendship between the people of Zimbabwe and China.

Sinomach subsidiary SIPPR Engineering Group Co Ltd (SIPPR) participated in the construction of Zimbabwe's new parliament building. The project sits 18-kilometer northwest of the capital, Harare, and is part of a plan to decongest the city center.

The building sits on a natural landmark. 70 meters higher than the surrounding area, it has a magnificent panoramic view of the surroundings. The unique view is symbolic of the parliament as the body with legislative supremacy.

An interior view of Zimbabwe's new parliament building [Photo/SIPPR]

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently inspected the new parliament building, and noted that it is the most significant building he has ever seen, and one of the most magnificent in Zimbabwe and all of Africa.

Outside the parliament building, two long stone staircases flank a water feature that is supposed to represent Victoria Falls. The building's circular chevron-laced edifice echoes the Great Zimbabwe empire in history.

And inside, the national assembly is built in a circular style -- a break from the current arrangement which copies the Westminster format where government and opposition sit on opposite benches. On the ceiling is a painting copying prehistoric rock art that has been found in Zimbabwe.

The national assembly, with seats for 350 members of parliament, is built in a circular style. [Photo/SIPPR]

Increased diplomatic and economic engagement between China and Zimbabwe has seen many Chinese companies investing in the southern African country. They are engaged in corporate social responsibility initiatives that aim to improve the livelihoods of ordinary people in the communities they operate in and are playing their part as responsible participants in the local economy.