Everyone is free to visit Parliament Building, which is situated, between Kwame Nkrumah Avenue and Nelson Mandela Avenue along Third Street in Harare. Members of the public are advised to use the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue entrance. You can either visit the building for a guided tour or sit in the Presiding Officer’s Galleries when either of the 2 chambers are sitting.
For group visits if you intend to sit in the Presiding Officer’s Galleries it is important to note that each Gallery has a maximum sitting capacity of 65 people at any given time. Children under the age of 10 years are not permitted in the Presiding Officer’s Galleries. The guided tour can be conducted in English, Shona or Ndebele. The sitting times for each of the two chambers are as follows:
Senate: -2:30 pm to 6:55 pm from Tuesday to Thursday
9:45 am to 1:25 pm on Fridays
House of Assembly: -2:15 pm to 6:55 pm from Tuesday to Thursday
9:30 am to 1:25 pm on Fridays
Parliament will only be closed to the public during the Official Opening of a Session, National Budget presentation and the State of the Nation Address.
All persons will go through a security check. Cameras and firearms are not allowed into the Parliament Building. Cameras and video cameras may be allowed upon written permission being granted by the Clerk of Parliament.
There is no restriction as to the type of dressing. However, school children are expected to be in their uniforms. No visitors, even those accompanied by Members of Parliament, may be admitted into the building if they are obviously under the influence of liquor or drugs or sit in the galleries wearing party regalia.
Parliament has been involved in activities that help educate the public on its key functions. The main target has been secondary schools around the country.
The major objectives of these outreach programme to schools has been;
- To market Parliament as a law-making body and to encourage public participation in the legislative process.
- To take Parliament to the people as well as bring people to Parliament.
- To change the negative perceptions towards Parliament.
- To carry positive information about Parliament to schools.
The outreach programme to schools involves Parliament staff visiting secondary schools around the country, giving lecturers on the Role and Functions of Parliament, How Laws are Made, Committee System, Public Hearing Composition and the Structure of the current Bicameral Parliament. The pupils are also updated on the current activities at Parliament. This outreach programme is important in that it enables youths to participate in the activities of Parliament.
The Department has been actively involved in organizing workshops for Government Departments and civic society on the need to set up, the Youth Parliamentary Forum.
Workshops have been arranged under the Youth Parliamentary Forum. Parliament has also sourced input from the Headmasters on how to implement the project.
The Parliament has also begun visits to Tertiary institutions, giving lectures on The Role and Functions of Parliament, How Laws are Made, The Committee System and The Structure of a Bicameral Parliament.
The visits are important in enhancing the Tertiary Institutions’ knowledge about Parliament since they have introduced the National Strategic Studies, in its curriculum which deals with the structure and activities at Parliament.