By John Nhandara
THE ministry of local government and public works has been given a task to expedite the construction of the new civil registry offices in Harare.
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services has expressed concern over the slow pace in the construction of the new Central Registry Building which has been under construction since 1997.
This comes after the committee summoned the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works as well as that of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to explain bottlenecks causing delays in completing the project.
“The lifts are not working and the roof has got some leaks. Why are you not completing,” said one committee member.
Another committee member said, “How safe is the superstructure because we have also heard its sub-standard?”
“What have you done to remedy the issue of water challenges at the building?” said a committee member.
Ministry of Local Government and Public Works Director, Mike Dzimati disclosed that progress has been stalled by the late disbursement of funds from treasury.
“The physical structure was completed in 2003. However, we faced challenges to do with shortage of materials and brain drain. The contractor was no longer willing to fund the project with his own resources as a result of late disbursements of funds,” said Mr Dzimati.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Permanent Secretary, Mr Aron Nhepera weighed in saying the completion of the project must be treated as a matter of urgency despite the challenges.
“We want to see the project being completed so that we can de-congest our old offices,” said Mr Nhepera.
The committee tasked the relevant ministries and stakeholders to produce a budget and a breakdown of the requirements for the project to be completed.