Listen to 97.3 KIRO Newsradio: NOW! Seahawks vs. Rams

Zimbabwe’s imposing new Chinese-funded parliament opens

Nov 22, 2022, 2:59 PM | Updated: Nov 23, 2022, 8:57 am
The entrance to the new Parliament building where Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa delivered...

The entrance to the new Parliament building where Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa delivered his State of the Nation Address in Mt Hampden, about 18 kilometres west of the capital Harare, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. Mnangagwa hailed "excellent" relations with China as he, for the first time, delivered a State of the Nation Address at a new multi-million dollar Parliament building funded as a donation by the Asian giant.(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa hailed “excellent” relations with China as he delivered for the first time a State of the Nation address at a new multimillion-dollar parliament building gifted by the Asian economic giant.

China funded and constructed the imposing and spacious $200 million, six-story parliament building in Mt. Hampden, about 18 kilometers (11 miles) west of the capital, Harare, as a “gift” — signifying its growing influence on the former British colony.

The address, which also served to officially open the last session of the current parliament before elections next year, marks the move from the colonial-era Victorian-style parliament building in central Harare. Zimbabwe says it plans to establish a new “smart” capital city in Mt. Hampden where government offices will be located, away from the congested Harare.

In his speech, Mnangagwa described the mountaintop chamber that sits on 3.3 hectares (8 acres) of land as “majestic.” He said the building is a “testimony of the strategic and comprehensive partnership and excellent fraternal relations” between Zimbabwe and China. The government says Wednesday’s event did not mark the official opening or handover of the building, which would be done on a yet-to-be-announced date.

The countries’ links date back to the 1960s, when China helped train and supply guerrilla fighters in the fight against white minority rule. The country, however, retained close relations with Britain and other Western countries after independence in 1980.

Since 2003, Zimbabwe has looked to China, and also Russia, for friendship and assistance after falling out with Western countries that imposed sanctions following allegations of human rights abuses and vote-rigging perpetrated by then-President Robert Mugabe, who lost power in 2017 and died in 2019.

China is also massively involved in building and financing big-budget infrastructure projects in Zimbabwe that include revamping major airports. A Chinese company built the National Defense College in Harare, which opened in 2014 and was financed with an interest-free $98 million loan from China. Further Chinese involvement spans almost every sector of the Zimbabwean economy — from energy to mining and agriculture

However, unlike his predecessor Mugabe, Mnangagwa has sought to thaw icy relations with the West through an engagement drive that includes applying to rejoin the Commonwealth, a club of mainly former British colonies that Mugabe left in 2003.

Calling Zimbabwe a “friend to all and an enemy to none,” Mnangagwa called for “unconditional” and “urgent” lifting of Western-imposed sanctions and welcomed an invitation to attend the U.S.-Africa Summit next month. The U.S previously did not invite Zimbabwe to the summit during Mugabe’s time.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Police: 180 dogs and cats removed from home by hazmat team

BRICK, N.J. (AP) — Some 180 dogs and cats were removed from a New Jersey home by a hazmat team after officials reported the animals were being kept in “horrible and inhumane conditions,” authorities say. Brick Township police said officers entered the home Friday night and found stacks of animal crates containing dogs and cats, […]
2 days ago
FILE - In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by th...
Associated Press

Iran morality police status unclear after ‘closure’ comment

CAIRO (AP) — An Iranian lawmaker said Sunday that Iran’s government is “paying attention to the people’s real demands,” state media reported, a day after a top official suggested that the country’s morality police whose conduct helped trigger months of protests has been shut down. The role of the morality police, which enforces veiling laws, […]
2 days ago
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the J Street National Conference at the Omni Shoreham H...
Associated Press

Blinken vows US support for Israel despite unease over govt

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday the U.S. will not shrink from its unwavering support for Israel despite stark differences with Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu and concerns the Biden administration may have about potential members of his incoming right-wing government. Speaking to a left-leaning group that some on the right accuse […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Farmer: Georgia dog injured saving sheep from coyote attack

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia sheepdog is recovering at home two days after killing a pack of coyotes that attacked his owner’s flock of sheep, farmer John Wierwiller said. Casper, a 20-month old Great Pyrenees from Decatur, fought off a pack of coyotes who were threatening Wierwiller’s sheep farm, he said. The fight lasted […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Report: Woman attacks 6 deputies at New Orleans airport

Officials say a woman bit, kicked and spat on six sheriff’s deputies while refusing to exit a plane at an airport in Louisiana early Thanksgiving Day, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported Saturday. Authorities said the 25-year-old woman attacked Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputies at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, according to local news reports. […]
2 days ago
FILE - A Twitter logo hangs outside the company's San Francisco offices on Nov. 1, 2022. A top Euro...
Associated Press

As Musk is learning, content moderation is a messy job

Now that he’s back on Twitter, neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin wants somebody to explain the rules. Anglin, the founder of an infamous neo-Nazi website, was reinstated Thursday, one of many previously banned users to benefit from an amnesty granted by Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk. The next day, Musk banished Ye, the rapper formerly known as […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Zimbabwe’s imposing new Chinese-funded parliament opens