Sadc gives thumbs up to Zimbabwe facilities Deputy Chief Secretary Coordination of National Programmes and Projects Engineer Amos Marawa (third from left) is taken on a tour of the New Parliament Building in Mt Hampden yesterday with secretaries of the SADC preparatory mission led by the Deputy Executive Secretary Corporate Affairs Dr Judith Kateera, (right) in preparation for the 44th SADC Summit set for August. — Picture: Memory Mangombe

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter

THE Southern African Development Community Preparatory Mission that is in the country to assess the preparations for the 44th Sadc Heads of State and Government summit that Zimbabwe will host in August, yesterday endorsed the new Parliament Building in Mount Hampden as the main venue of the event after they were impressed by the facilities.

The mission, led by Sadc Deputy Secretary, Corporate Affairs, Dr Judith Kateera, expressed their satisfaction with the new Parliament after a two-hour tour of the building which was officially opened last year.

“We had a very good tour for almost two hours, we went round to inspect the entire complex, it’s a deeply majestic building that we appreciate very much. We have identified the place where we will have the official opening of the summit and also the closing ceremony. There are rooms that are available for our Heads of State to have their holding rooms, the places where they are going to have their meals and so forth.

“The secretariat will also have a dedicated place for their documentation and preparation of everything to facilitate the smooth running of the summit.

“So, in a nutshell we are very happy, and also on the health side, the medical side, we inspected the rooms to deal with any emergencies that may arise during the Summit so we are very happy,” she said.

Dr Kateera said they would also visit hotels that would accommodate delegates to check whether they meet the required Sadc standards including the nature of assistance that is required for those hotels that fail to meet the set standards.

The  mission will also visit the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to check on the security from the airport to the hotels and will also tour the Museum of African Liberation currently under construction. The team will end its assessment tomorrow. Zimbabwe will take over the chairmanship of Sadc from Angola during the summit and will have an opportunity to present reports on the state of preparedness towards hosting the summit.

Speaking on arrival in Harare on Tuesday, Dr Kateera said: “We are going to start working on the preparations for hosting of this summit which will be preceded by a number of meetings like the Council of Ministers meeting and industrialisation week where we are also set to invite the private sector to be part of the programme.”

In a statement earlier this week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said the team would provide Zimbabwe with guidelines based on SADC minimum standards regarding the obligations when hosting the summit.

Construction of about 26km of access roads in the Mt Hampden area to link to the New Parliament Building, Bindura Road and other surrounding areas has begun ahead of the Sadc Summit.

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