By Thandiwe Garusa
HARARE: A Chinese contractor has dismissed claims they will put spying devices in the new parliament building to eavesdrop on sensitive conversations from the Zimbabwean government.
Work has now been completed on the new Parliament building which is located in Mount Hampden, the envisaged new seat of government.
Addressing the media Wednesday, Shanghai construction group project manager Cai Libo dismissed the claims said; “Zimbabwe and China are all weather friends, as friends you do not do such kind of things to your friends,” he said.
“As the contractors, we are working here, we are friends, we have no interest to do that.
“In the recent years, China helped Africa in all ways, we build a lot of infrastructure like hospitals, schools, roads and other things to help African countries,” Libo said.
There have been fears and speculation among Zimbabweans as to why the Chinese government fully funded or free a US$100 million parliament building which can accommodate 1,000 people for free.
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Some claimed that China was granted permission by government to freely exploit minerals and other resources from Zimbabwe in return.
Others have been claiming the Chinese will bug the building to listen to sensitive information.
The new Parliament building is among a number of multi-million-dollar projects being funded by China, including upgrade work on the Robert Mugabe International Airport in the capital.
China gained a stranglehold in Zimbabwe over the past two decades after Harare fell out with the West over its land reform programme as well as human rights abuses and concerns about electoral fraud.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s new dispensation has been touting a so-called engagement and re-engagement policy with the West but progress has been undermined by, among other issues, repeated crackdowns against the oppositions.