Meetings held over Chinese building standards in Zimbabwe

A Chinese construction company that has been contracted to build the Zimbabwe National Defence College was alleged to have evicted ministry officials.(Zimphoto Zim/Demotix)

A Chinese construction company that has been contracted to build the Zimbabwe National Defence College was alleged to have evicted ministry officials.(Zimphoto Zim/Demotix)

Chinese trade attaché, Ni Pingbo, deputy ambassador Han Ping and council officials attended the meeting with representatives from the Engineering Council of Zimbabwe two weeks ago to discuss claims the ministry of public works inspectors had been thrown out.

Ping confirmed the meeting took place. "We are having another meeting next week to discuss their concerns, that is what we agreed," he said. He would not elaborate.

The M&G was unable to establish the agenda of the next proposed meeting.

Last month, ministry of public works engineers told the M&G that they were forced to leave the Defence College during a routine inspection after they indicated that some of the college's buildings were "structurally defective".

Engineers who spoke to the M&G raised concerns about the unprofessional conduct of the Chinese engineers and the regulatory need to have them registered by the Engineering Council of Zimbabwe.

It is compulsory for all engineers working in the country to register with the council.

The construction of public buildings is supervised by public works ministry engineers.

Before the recent meeting, the council's chairman Martin Manuhwa had written to the Chinese ambassador Lin Lin, informing him it was "unlawful" for engineers to work without accreditation.

Sources close to the meeting said the council spoke about the need to register Chinese engineers, how their qualifications could be assessed and how they could be registered to maintain professionalism.

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