By George Mthupha
ON April 13 the Zimbabwe Independent published an article under the title “Architects forced to charge below set fee”.
ustify>The Architects Council of Zimbabwe would like to inform the public that the said article was very misleading, inaccurate and mischievous in its whole content.
Firstly, the Architects Council is not aware of such assertions and inquiries amongst member of the Institute of Architects is to the negative.
Secondly, the said Mr Richard Padzarondora is not a registered architect. The Architects Council which registers and keeps records of architects registration has no record of such a person. It therefore stands that Mr Padzorondora is masquerading as an architect and should be prosecuted forthwith.
The firm Empire Architects is not registered either and does not exist. If it does, it is existing illegally. Legal action is being executed in this respect.
Architects fees are not set by the Institute of Architects, but by the Architects Council through the Architects Act which is a public Act.
The statutory fees for architects is not 6% of the construction cost but are determined on a sliding fee scale from 12-6% of construction cost depending on the nature of the works involved.
The article quotes Harare City Council building inspectors as being the main culprits. The public is warned and advised that these inspectors are not architects. It is illegal for them to render architectural services to the public as individuals.
It is very mischievous to assert that builders employ architects. Architects are employed by developers and they in turn supervise builders. The public is hereby informed that it is a prosecutable offence for any registered architect to charge fees below statutory levels.
It is also an offence for any persons in Zimbabwe who are not registered as architects in accordance with the provisions of the Architects Act of Zimbabwe to call themselves, or use the term architect.
Members of the public are hereby strongly advised to seek architectural services from duly-registered architects by insisting on being provided with proof of their registration or seek advice from the Architects Council of Zimbabwe and the Institute of Architects of Zimbabwe at the IAZ/ACZ Secretariat, Conquener House, 256 Samora Machel Avenue East, PO Box 3592 Harare, Tel/fax: 746826, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
*MG Mthupha is chairman of the Architects Council of Zimbabwe.