500 Swiss experts to construct Mt Hampden villas

26 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
500 Swiss experts to construct Mt Hampden villas Engineer Amos Marawa

The Sunday Mail

Debra Matabvu

A TEAM of 500 experts from Switzerland is expected in the country to finish constructing 18 state-of-the-art villas in Mt Hampden that will accommodate high-level dignitaries during the 44th SADC Heads of State and Government Summit scheduled for August.

The team from Mabetex Group, a Swiss civil engineering and construction company, will be complemented by 300 local artisans.

Mabetex specialises in large-scale construction projects and has experience putting up and renovating historical buildings, administrative and public buildings, as well as industrial plants. It also boasts expertise in urban development projects.

Construction of the villas has already begun and is scheduled for completion by mid-July, well ahead of the summit, which will run from August 8 to 18.

The Government is going all out to develop the infrastructure required to successfully host the regional indaba.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Deputy Chief Secretary and National Coordinator for Flagship Programmes and Projects in the Office of the President and Cabinet Engineer Amos Marawa said all major infrastructure projects will be completed by June 30.

“And we already have a team of experts from the construction company called Mabetex from Switzerland,” he said.

“We are expecting up to 500 experts who are coming to put together these villas.

“And from the programme, they have told us a villa will take two days to erect.

“They will have six teams working in parallel.

“So, we are confident that they will be able to finish the whole process ahead of the summit.

“As I said, by mid-July, they should be able to hand us the keys and we will be ready to host our VVIPs when they come for the summit itself.”

The villas will reportedly be constructed using precast technology.

“And, as we speak, the panels are actually on the high seas, coming to the port of Beira,” added Eng Marawa.

“And, as of next week (this week), we should start transporting the panels to the site.”

Mabetex recently invited President Mnangagwa to Switzerland to showcase their works.

An undertaking was later made for the company to participate in the construction of the villas and conference centre in Mt Hampden, as well as Zimbabwe’s chanceries in four missions.

The Government is presently in the process of finalising securing accommodation for the delegates.

“We are expecting that most of our delegates will be hosted at either Rainbow Towers, Meikles Hotel (Hyatt Regency) and Crown Plaza Monomotapa, which will all be used by Heads of State and their delegations,” Eng Marawa added.

“Other delegates will be accommodated at other establishments, like Jameson Hotel, Holiday Inn, Cresta Lodge and Cresta Msasa, as well as other hotel establishments within the city . . .

“We have secured accommodation for up to 11 Heads of State and Government at Rainbow Towers and 48 standard rooms (king size) for VIPs and senior officials.

“Under Hyatt, we are expecting to accommodate up to eight Heads of State and they are also offering 70 deluxe rooms to accommodate VIPs and other senior officials.

“We are also expecting that at Monomotapa, we will have one presidential suite and two executive suites, which can also accommodate our VVIPs.”

Further, organisers have secured additional accommodation for delegates at the recently refurbished Hyatt Regency, which can accommodate about eight Heads of State and close to 100 VIP delegates.

As part of the progress made in preparation for the upcoming indaba, the VVIP State Pavilion at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, which will be used by high-level dignitaries, has been completed and is being furnished.

Most roads leading from the airport to Harare hotels that will be used by delegates, as well as those in and around the capital, are expected to be completed on time.

The summit will run from August 8 to 18, starting with the five-day-long senior officials meeting.

  • See full question-and-answer article on Page 4

FACT BOX

Schedule

The 44th SADC Summit: August 8 to 18

Senior Officials Meeting: August 8-12

Council of Ministers Meeting: August 13-15

Heads of State Summit: August 17

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