Convention Centre white elephant

simon khaya-moyo2GWERU — The Gweru Convention and Exhibition Centre built at a staggering US$6,5 million in the run up to ZANU-PF’s 13th annual people’s conference is turning into a white elephant as no public function has been held at the facility since it was commissioned in December last year.

The conference centre is owned by the Midlands Development Association (MDA) – a consortium of businessmen linked to ZANU-PF.
It was built by a Chinese company which left the site along Mvuma Road before construction works could be completed.

At the time, MDA chairman Larry Mavhima, said construction was to resume soon after the rainy season.
The giant facility is meant to host both private and ZANU-PF functions to generate income for the revolutionary party.

So far, it has been used for ZANU-PF functions only with the last one being a provincial restructuring meeting held at the end of April when the party’s national chairman, Simon Khaya-Moyo toured the province.
Mavhima this week said construction would now be completed before the end of the year.

“Construction is expected to resume soon at the conference centre. Progress had been stalled by the fact that we had shifted our focus to elections and now that the elections are over we will now turn our energies on completing the project,” he said.
“By December, we would have completed the construction. The remaining work on the site would have taken a shorter period but because we are redesigning the conference centre to include a kitchen and a dining room it will take a little bit longer and then once completed we will rent it out to the public,” said Mavhima.

On completion, the conference centre will have offices for the ZANU-PF presidium, a gigantic stage, a 5 000-seater convention hall, state-of-the-art public address system and other amenities.

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