David Coltart elected Bulawayo mayor

Published: 12 September 2023
NEWLY-elected Ward 4 Councillor, David Coltart, of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) was yesterday sworn in as the new mayor for the City of Bulawayo.

He will be deputised by Ward 9 Councillor, Donaldson Mabutho, also of the same party.

Both Cllrs Coltart and Mabutho were nominated unopposed although party insiders say they were imposed by the party's senior leadership against the will of local residents.

During the swearing-in occasion, Clr Coltart requested to have a moment of silence in respect of the late Special Advisor to the President and Zanu-PF Politburo member, Joshua Malinga, a former mayor of Bulawayo who succumbed to prostate cancer last Friday.

He said he enjoyed a productive relationship with the late Malinga.

"The moment of silence was not window dressing nor superficial. I enjoyed a very productive relationship with the late mayor of Bulawayo, the late Joshua Malinga. It was a friendship that crossed over the political divide and we shared ideas of how best to serve our country," said Cllr Coltart.

Cllr Coltart pledged to adopt a non-partisan approach in executing his duties but admitted this would be a tall order claiming that performing his expected duties would be restrained by lack of executive powers.

The new councillors come at a time when residents have accused the opposition parties of running down the once-thriving city. Under the opposition leadership, corruption has become rife in Bulawayo amid deteriorating service delivery.

Over the years the opposition-run council has struggled to provide adequate water supplies, suffered sewer burst pipes, and failed to effectively manage illegal vendors and refuse collection.

"I am conscious that the office of mayor has been denuded of effective power. I am also aware that many of the resources that this city used to have access to, such as car licence fees have been removed from the control of this council by the Central Government, which undermines our ability to run this city effectively," he said.

Cllr Coltart said his first port of call was to eliminate corruption within the local authority, with his immediate priorities being focused on cleaning up the city and reviewing all historical contracts.

"My appeal is to the Government to cooperate with us to fulfil our duties to the expectations of the city," he said.

The new city mayor said he would ensure that residents were included in all city affairs where meetings will be held with all stakeholders present.

"My major concern is water and if you follow international news you will know of the formation of El Nino in the Pacific Ocean. We were briefed by the engineering department just last week of the great challenge facing Bulawayo because of our shortage of water," he said.

"We need to plan for this together and if we face a drought this summer, we will face a major crisis. We need to anticipate that by speaking to our water engineers and work out how best we can educate the citizens of Bulawayo," said Cllr Coltart.

He said going forward, the council will need to work closely with the Government and council leaders to work effectively for the interests of people.
- The Chroncile
Tags: Coltart, Mayor,


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