The new embassy in Zimbabwe will be located on a greenfield site in Mount Pleasant, a suburb six kilometres north of the centre of Harare. Construction should begin this year with a new embassy completed late 2008. We are unable to make public the cost of the project as to do so would prejudice our commercial interests in circumstances where the contracts have still to be tendered.
There are 110 staff, UK based and locally engaged, working in our existing embassy in Harare. This figure includes the staff of the Department of International Development-Zimbabwe who are co-located with the embassy. This number is unlikely to change on transfer to the new building. Our embassy in Harare has been in contact with Government of Zimbabwe about our plans and has obtained the necessary permission to build. There are no plans for Ministers to attend the opening of the new embassy.