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Zimbabwe to open new US$160m Parliament built for free by China

HARARE— China has in recent years, built a number of Parliaments for African countries.

The latest is in Zimbabwe, where China gifted the southern African nation its new US$160 million complex.

“It took 42 months to complete the project, instead of the original 32-month timeframe due to COVID-19 disruptions. Construction began in November 2018.

“Sitting on the historical Mount Hampden Hill, about 18 km northwest of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, the six-story building is a fine piece of magnificent architecture that fuses both Zimbabwean and Chinese characteristics,” a report by China’s state-owned Xinhua Net said.

“It’s just one of many jewels in China’s ‘palace diplomacy’ crown in Africa, there are reported to be more than 180 such projects,” journalist Nancy Kacungira tweeted about the facility.

Here are some others:

. In 2003, China committed US$18 million for a new parliament building in Guinea-Bissau. It was completed two years later. China had already built the country’s national stadium and a government palace.

. In 2010 China handed over a $41 million parliament building to Malawi’s government.

. China built and funded the US$200 million headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa. In 2019 Beijing dismissed reports by Le Monde that China put bugs in walls and desks and downloaded data from their servers every night for five years.

. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is similarly getting a new headquarters building in Abuja worth $31.6 million, courtesy of China.

. Burundi inaugurated a $22 million presidential palace in 2019, fully funded and built by China. It was presented as ‘a symbol of friendship and cooperation’ between the two countries.

. China gave parliament buildings to Lesotho in 2012, and in 2017 and 2019, pledged to rebuild parliament buildings for Gabon and Sierra Leone as well.

. China had a gift for Republic of Congo too, donating a parliament building in the capital Brazzaville at a cost of US$58m.


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