BULAWAYO – David Coltart was sworn in as Bulawayo’s mayor on Monday and immediately vowed to “restore it to its greatness.”
Coltart was unopposed after the Citizens Coalition for Change won all 29 warns in Zimbabwe’s second city.
The former education minister will be deputised by Donaldson Mabutho.
“Residents of Bulawayo all know we have massive obstacles and challenges to face if we are to restore this city to its greatness,” Coltart said in his maiden speech. “We cannot do that as a CCC caucus alone; we can only do that if we enjoy the support of the entirety of Bulawayo from all political parties.”
Vowing not to pursue a personal or partisan agenda, Coltart said he was “committed to working in a non-partisan fashion to put the best interests of all residents of Bulawayo at the very forefront of what we do.”
The veteran lawyer and his new council step into City Hall as the city faces a myriad of problems – water shortages, roads littered with potholes, a boom in illegal vending and low revenues.
“All of us who have lived in this city know its tremendous potential,” Coltart said, “but if we are honest with ourselves in the last few decades we have allowed our city to degenerate. It is no longer a city we can be proud of – it is dirty, it is potholed and there are allegations of corruption afflicting this council and we have a duty to deal with that.
“This City of Kings and Queens has the potential to be the greatest city in Africa. My family will tell you that I often describe Bulawayo as the world’s greatest and best kept secret because those of us who live here understand its potential.
“Bulawayo has this amazing potential primarily because of its people but also because of its infrastructure, its position in Southern Africa, its beauty, its historical significance and its proximity to the worldclass Matopos. But as I said, it has been neglected and we, fellow councillors, have much work to do as does the Town Clerk.”
The new mayor and councillors observed a minute’s silence in honour of the late former mayor Joshua Malinga, who died last Saturday at the age of 79. — ZimLive