Zanu PF is mobilising $1,5 million to construct a new party complex in Chitungwiza to be named after First Lady Grace Mugabe, NewsDay has learnt.
Ruling party insiders said the Harare provincial executive committee last week met and agreed to construct the offices, which will have a hall with a carrying capacity of 6 000 delegates.
Harare provincial chairperson, Charles Tawengwa yesterday said it was premature to discuss the development, as he was waiting for completion of the paperwork before he could comment on the project.
“I am yet to get hold of the papers. At the moment, I can’t talk about that issue,” he said.
But insiders told NewsDay that land for the construction of the offices had been secured after a Chitungwiza businessman, Wellington Peyama, donated 1 500-square metres, while the provincial leaders resolved to acquire an extra 1 500-square metres from the local authority.
“The ground-breaking ceremony was supposed to have been done by the First Lady two weeks ago, but some paperwork is delaying the process. The First Lady has instructed that Harare appoints a fundraising team and (provincial commissar) Shadreck Mashayamombe, together with other business executives, have been recommended to sit in the committee,” an insider said.
“The idea is to honour the First Lady and have something named after her, so that we retain her legacy for generations to come. At the offices, we shall have a hall with a carrying capacity of 6 000 people and offices. We are also planning to have a multi-purpose hall, which we will hire out to other stakeholders as a way of generating a few dollars.”
Mashayamombe refused to comment on the matter, saying: “How did you know about that? I can’t comment on that issue, kindly talk to the chairperson.”
The move to construct the multi-million dollar complex comes as the $6,5 million conference centre, built in Gweru in 2012 for the party’s 13th annual conference, is fast-becoming a white elephant amid reports no major activities are taking place there.
The 5 000-seater facility – dubbed by critics as the “Hall of Shame” – is owned by the Midlands Development Association — a grouping of businesspeople linked to Zanu PF — and was built in just two-and a-half months by a Chinese company. newsday