Mayor Coltart Stands Firm Amid CCC Turmoil

Bulawayo's Leader Refuses to Resign, Pledges Loyalty to Residents

by Oluwatosin Alabi

Bulawayo’s Mayor, David Coltart, has firmly stated he will not resign amidst the turmoil engulfing the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), following the resignation of the party’s leader, Nelson Chamisa, and several key members last month. Coltart’s steadfast refusal comes amid allegations of Zanu PF infiltration within the CCC, which led to Chamisa’s departure and a subsequent exodus of loyalists. Despite the political storm, Coltart emphasizes his commitment to serving Bulawayo’s residents, rejecting the notion that stepping down would be in the city’s best interest.

In a detailed statement released on February 6, 2024, Coltart elaborated on his decision-making process, which involved extensive consultations with a broad spectrum of Bulawayo’s populace. Utilizing social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter) and WhatsApp, Coltart sought input on whether to continue in his role. The feedback was overwhelmingly in favor of him staying on as mayor, a position he was elected to last year with backing from Chamisa. “The overwhelming response, particularly from the Bulawayo public, has been to remain in office,” Coltart explained, underscoring the support he’s garnered from those advocating for democracy and freedom in Zimbabwe for over six decades.

Coltart’s tenure as mayor has been marked by efforts to restore order and efficiency in Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, despite the relatively short duration of his term thus far. The political unrest within the CCC has put pressure on its members to clarify their stances following Chamisa’s exit. Coltart, however, remains focused on his mayoral duties, distancing himself from the factional disputes that have ensnared other party members, including notable figures like Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube. “I refuse to be cajoled into a zero-sum game which pits me against any of these old and trusted colleagues,” he stated, emphasizing his long-standing relationships with each of them dating back to the MDC’s inception in 1999.

Coltart’s decision to remain as Bulawayo’s mayor underscores his dedication to the city’s welfare and democratic values, even as the CCC faces significant internal challenges. His stance reflects a commitment to principled leadership and the resolve to uphold the trust and expectations of Bulawayo’s residents, regardless of the political pressures at play. As Zimbabwe’s political landscape continues to evolve, Coltart’s role and actions as mayor will be closely watched by both his supporters and critics alike.

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