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Comments on architects ‘misleading’

THE Institute of Architects of Zimbabwe (IAZ) and the Architects Council of Zimbabwe (ACZ), which are the representative and regulatory bodies for architects, respectively, wish to respond to the story entitled “Row over public works contracts” in the Zimbabwe Independent of August 3.
The views of “local architects” quoted in the story are not representative of all architects since the IAZ and ACZ were not interviewed. The statements issued by these architects are merely the opinions of a few individuals. The IAZ, through the president or an appointed member agreed to by the Architects’ Board, issues all statements to the public.

The article is also misleading in that it created the impression that there is only one firm of architects that has the “ability to design and supervise” projects for public institutions.

There are 46 registered architect firms in Zimbabwe, all with the capacity to execute any given project. It is not correct that all the other 98% of architects’ firms “don’t perform” and “don’t have the staff to supervise and monitor” government projects.

The government has previously parcelled-out tenders to a number of registered architect firms for the design of the sporting facilities for the 1995 All Africa Games and prior to that Phase 2 of the Family Health Programme.

These projects were carried out very successfully. Distributing the projects was a way of building capacity in these firms, which is there still.

If the criteria for assessing a firm’s capacity to execute projects are merely limited to staff at their disposal, then those who lack the support of the public sector will always be sidelined as they cannot retain large staff when there is no work to be done.

Some students from NUST are failing to secure industrial attachment with local companies, as the firms do not have enough work to offer the students meaningful practical experience.

Therefore any concerns regarding the competence or conduct of an architect should be raised with the ACZ.

  I Masiyanise,President of Institute of Architects of                            Zimbabwe.

  • The comments in question were made by Public Works permanent secretary George Mlilo. –– Editor.

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