By Helen Kadirire
The new capital city proposed by government in Mount Hampden, Zvimba is taking shape as construction of its New Parliament building has already commenced.
Consultant architect Hilary Mukaratirwa told the media yesterday the new city is estimated to cost about $10 billion including offsite and onsite infrastructure.
The city which will be built around the Parliament takes it concept from the Movement for Democratic Change 2018 SMART document.
“Currently, we are working on the feasibility studies, transportation systems and everything that goes with a new city. It is going to be a smart city. We are collecting data and by the end of 2019 we will present the Master Plan as well as investors into the project.
“The new Parliament building is the focal point of the new city. The new Parliament is currently being built and will take about 30 months to complete. The new city will be premised on simple things because we do not want to repeat the mistakes we made,” Mukaratirwa said.
The architectural consultant said investment for the new city will come from government, pension funds and foreign direct investment, however, the Master Plan will be designed locally.
He emphasised large stands of up to 2 000 square metres or one acre plots will no longer be applicable in the new city as land was a finite resource.
Mukaratirwa highlighted the need for densification in the new city in order to accommodate more people while still being sustainable and environmentally friendly.
“Our main thrust is going and not lying flat. There will be blocks of flats in ascending order and at the peripheries of the city will be the large stands. The maximum stand sizes we are looking at is 1 000 square metres but that can also change. Even still the properties will be very expensive. The new city’s boundaries will be up to the farms along old Mazowe road and the Defence University,” he said.
“Currently, we do not know the value of the land because it has not yet been serviced. However, once that happen people are open to come and invest in the light industries in the new city. Everyone is free to start a business there however, there are development guidelines which will be part of the new city.”
Mukaratirwa said at the moment boreholes are being used but in the long term they will be looking to Kunzvi Dam and four other smaller water sources to service the city including Mazowe Dam.
Minister of Local Government July Moyo said in five years they anticipate that all crucial government departments which do not deal with citizens daily will be headquartered there.
He said the idea is part of decongesting the capital with ministries such as his and Home Affairs to remain.
“The new city will sit on 18 hectares of land and will be able to accommodate about one million people. It will be serviced in phases and will have different models accordingly,” Moyo said.
A model of the new city seen by the Daily News shows a development that will be solar powered and heated through biogas by recycling garbage and waste, while also being cognisant of protecting the environment.
The new Parliament will also have accommodation for legislators to avoid wasting finances on hotel bookings. DailyNews