Parliament buildings to be reconstructed at $100m

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

The Speaker of the Federal Parliament, Mohamed Osman Jawari has announced plans to rebuild Somalia’s Parliament building, a sign of recovery after decades of civil war.

In a live interview with state-owned SNTV, attended by live studio participants, the Speaker answered questions from the public. The participants pressed the speaker on why the bullet-pocked parliament building is still in ruins as the city begins to rebuild itself.

Jawari responded by saying that there was unorthodox wisdom in leaving the parliament in tatters. He said that it was important for the building to be a daily reminder of how Somalia tore itself apart during the civil war.

In the interview, he added that reconstruction will begin on the historic building with a controlled demolition of the building. A temporary parliamentary building will be used for parliamentary functions until the building is complete.

He explained that the initial phase of construction on the seven-storey building is slated for the beginning of next year and will cost $60m. He added that total costs are expected to reach $100m.

Once complete, the speaker boasts that it will have an office for every MP and their staff and will be able to host international delegations and functions.

He admitted that the financial details were still being worked out but hinted that the Turkish government may assist in paying for the building.

In a visit to Mogadishu on November 12, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu promised to rebuild the Somali parliament building in the heart of Mogadishu.

Jawari, who rarely speaks with media, said that the House of the People is sentimental to him, as it reminds him of Somalia’s early days as a blossoming sovereign nation.