By Idah Mhetu
SOUTH AFRICAN based Zimbabwean businessman and losing presidential candidate in the July 30 elections Joseph Busha has vowed to challenge government’s decision to build another parliament building outside Harare.
Speaking to the media in Harare on Friday, the FreeZim Congress leader said the project was not a priority in a country that was experiencing deepening economic challenges.
Busha also said he was soon going to sue government for its plans to privatise some firms.
He said government was better advised expending scarce financial resources mending the economy and prioritising the provision of clean water, sanitation and education for citizens.
“In January, as a party, we are going to challenge the government through the Constitutional Court, the movement of Parliament from the Central Business District to Mount Hampden,” he said.
Government has set plans to build a 650-seater Parliament Building in Mt Hampden, nearly 20 kilometres outside Harare.
The project is expected to be completed by mid-2021 at the latest while construction will be done by the Shanghai Construction Group using a Chinese grant of approximately $98 million.
Government says the parliament building in the CBD could nolonger accommodate all the 350 legislators from both chambers.
In his address to the media, Busha also said his party will also seek to block government’s envisaged privatisation programme aimed at relieving the national fiscus of a financing burden on loss making firms.
Busha said the Zanu PF led administration should take a leaf from the Chinese example where some of the companies that have driven trade in Africa were owned by the Asian state.
“We are also going to challenge privatisation because I believe that privatisation is not the solution because all the companies that are working in Africa from China are all state owned companies and there is nothing wrong with a state owned entity as long as the entity has got the right men and women to take it forward,” he said.
Busha further urged the United States government to scrap the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA) which prescribed a trade and travel embargo on government owned firms and individuals linked to the Zanu PF regime.
The opposition leader said the American sanctions law had negative effects on Zimbabwe and her people.
ZDERA was imposed by 2001 as a response to alleged poll theft and rampant rights abuses by the then Robert Mugabe led administration.
The law has remained in American statutes with Washington saying it was not yet satisfied with the slow progress of Zimbabwe’s democratisation agenda.
Busha vowed that his party will petition Zimbabwean authorities to act as demanded by those who imposed the tough law so that sanctions could be reversed.
“We will be delivering a letter to the government so that they do the right things, so that ZDERA is removed on Zimbabweans,” he said.