hotel roomss.jpgControversy surrounds the construction of a 5-star hotel on a wet land in the capital.

Senior government officials say the deal was above board even though the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) says otherwise.

A five star hotel is under construction near the National Sports Stadium in Harare and it is expected to be through by early 2014.

The construction of the hotel is seen as a development that will add a feather on the country’s hospitality sector.

The 300 room hotel and a shopping mall is however being built on a wet land, a development that EMA says is illegal.

However, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive, Mr Karigoka Kaseke defended the position saying all was done above board, hence the awarding of the piece of land to a Chinese developer whose construction skills cannot be under estimated.

Statutory Instrument Number 7 of 2007 of the environmental impact assessments and ecosystem protection prohibits any infrastructural development on wet lands without consent with EMA.