The temporary hoisting of the Chinese flag at the construction site of the new Parliament Building in Mount Hampden is standard practice in cases of Government-to-Government contractual agreements as the Chinese are funding the construction through a grant.
Once everything is finished and the building is handed over to the Government of Zimbabwe, which will be soon, the Chinese flag comes down.
It flies over the construction site as this is a Chinese grant project, but not over the handed-over building.
Speculation had suggested that the foreign flag, rightly flying over the construction site, would remain flying over the completed building forever.
Speaking while touring the new Parliament yesterday, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said the long-standing cordial bilateral relationship which exists between Zimbabwe and China dates back to the days of the liberation struggle.
“The contractor is Chinese and as a result, he has to honor those financing the project, who in this case is the Chinese Government by way of hoisting the flag on the construction site. This is what happens whenever projects of such magnitude are done.
“There is nothing worrisome as everything done on the project is aboveboard and in line with the bilateral contractual agreement between the two countries,” he said.
Minister also clarified that the project was being constructed by the Chinese government through a special grant, and not loans as claimed by some sections of the media.
Posting on its Twitter handle, the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe also clarified the hoisting of their flag at the new parliament site.
“The Chinese flag is hoisted not at the parliament but at the construction site where the Chinese Company is still working. This is normal practice before project handover. Like all other China Funded projects, the flag will not stay after handover.
“The new Parliament building is built with China’s grants, not loans. Some are spreading falsehoods about China’s assistance to Zimbabwe so that they are not kicked out of the queue for a handout from the paymasters”.
A high-level delegation from the top Government officials and Chinese officials is expected to tour the project in preparation for the official handover of the new Parliament.