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China to build new parliament for Zimbabwe – free of charge

China’s Zhang Ming was quoted as saying the new building was a donation to Zimbabwe.

FILE: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (L) and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping shake hands during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - A Chinese envoy has handed over construction plans for a new parliament building to President Robert Mugabe.

State radio is reporting that China plans to build the new parliament just outside Harare at no cost to Zimbabwe.

The state ZBC is reporting that a special envoy of Chinese president Xi Jinping handed over the construction plans to President Mugabe yesterday.

The new parliament building is planned for Mount Hampden, 18km west of the capital.

Apparently the current building is too small for Zimbabwe's large houses of assembly.

The envoy, Zhang Ming, was quoted as saying the new building was a donation to Zimbabwe.

Mugabe considers the Chinese government a key ally; he's called China Zimbabwe's all-weather friend.

But earlier this month, Mugabe criticised some Chinese businessmen based in Zimbabwe for failing to bank their money inside the country.