Bulawayo, Zimbabwe – February 5, 2024 – In a significant development following the recent political upheaval in Zimbabwe, Bulawayo Mayor, Senator David Coltart, has made a decisive announcement to remain in his position, despite the resignation of Nelson Chamisa, the President of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), and the subsequent exit of several MPs from the party and Parliament.
Coltart’s decision comes after a period of contemplation and widespread consultation with a broad spectrum of individuals in Bulawayo, where he sought opinions through social media platforms like X and Whatsapp, as well as via email. The feedback he received, particularly from the residents of Bulawayo, overwhelmingly supported his continued service as mayor.
Addressing the challenges facing Bulawayo, including decades of neglect and imminent water shortages, Coltart highlighted the critical initiatives underway to address these issues. He stressed that his resignation could potentially undermine these efforts, adversely affecting the city at large.
The mayor also reflected on his conversation with Chamisa before his resignation, noting that Chamisa encouraged him to continue his work without suggesting a resignation. Coltart emphasized his commitment to not ceding democratic space obtained through struggle and highlighted the importance of being “salt and light” in a corrupt society, drawing inspiration from historical figures who spoke truth to power.
Coltart’s stance is not just a personal decision but a strategic move to prevent the potential for increased ZANU PF influence in Bulawayo’s governance, which could result from his resignation. He pointed out the significance of maintaining a presence in democratic spaces, even when facing an intolerable parliament and the undermining of constitutional roles.
Furthermore, Coltart clarified that his decision is not indicative of any rift with Nelson Chamisa or influenced by personal gain, citing the minimal financial remuneration associated with his mayoral position. Instead, he views his role as a commitment to the residents of Bulawayo and a responsibility to contribute to the city’s stability and development.
Senator David Coltart’s choice to remain as Mayor of Bulawayo underscores a dedication to public service and democratic principles amidst Zimbabwe’s complex political landscape. His decision aims to ensure that Bulawayo continues to tackle its unique challenges while fostering an environment of resilience and progress for its citizens.