Bulawayo Mayor Coltart refuses to resign, distances himself from CCC fiasco

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By Darlington Gatsi

BULAWAYO mayor David Coltart says he will not be resigning from his position, refusing to be drawn into the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC)’s ongoing power struggles.

The opposition party exploded last month after the resignation of leader Nelson Chamisa citing infiltration from Zanu PF.

His resignation was followed by that of key members of the opposition who have declared allegiance to him.

Coltart said he will not be ceding his position as it will be a “betrayal” of Bulawayo residents.

“Since the resignation of Nelson Chamisa as President of the CCC, and from the party itself, on Thursday the 25th of January, followed by the subsequent resignation from Parliament of some respected colleagues I have been considering my position.

“As I indicated last week, my main concern was to consult widely before making any decision. In this regard, I have consulted a wide cross-section of people, particularly in Bulawayo. I have indicated on social media sites, such as X and Whatsapp, that I am consulting and have invited people to let me have their views. During this past week I have received numerous responses on X, Whatsapp and e-mail,” said Coltart in a statement.

“The overwhelming response, particularly from the Bulawayo public, has been to remain in office. I have also been written to by people I deeply respect, some of whom have been involved in the struggle to bring democracy and freedom to Zimbabwe for over 6 decades, asking me not to resign.

“In conclusion, my decision is that I will not resign as Mayor of Bulawayo and will endeavour to see out my 5-year term. I am conscious that I can be recalled at any time, but so be it. I would rather be removed from office by unscrupulous politicians than betray the trust and goodwill of innocent, hard-working and principled residents of Bulawayo by resigning.”

The former cabinet minister was voted mayor of Bulawayo last year after being tipped by Chamisa.

Coltart has been credited for his several efforts to bring sanity to the second-largest city albeit a few months into his job.

Coltart, just like other opposition members, has been under pressure to clear their positions in the aftermath of Chmisa’s resignation.

The veteran politician further said he will not be drawn into the power conflicts pitting Chamisa, Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube.

“Long before Nelson Chamisa resigned I publicly expressed my sadness and regret about the apparent rift between Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube. All three of these men are friends of mine with whom I have been in the trenches ever since the MDC was launched on the 11th of September 1999.

“All three of these men are friends of mine with whom I have been in the trenches ever since the MDC was launched on the 11th September 1999. I have admired their resilience, bravery and commitment to democracy and freedom all these years. I refuse to be cajoled into a zero-sum game which pits me against any of these old and trusted colleagues,” said Coltart.