Bulawayo mayor Coltart accused of being a ‘dictator’
Sikhumbuzo Moyo, [email protected]
AS chaos continues to rock the troubled Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), Bulawayo councillors have accused city Mayor David Coltart of being a dictator who never consults anyone on issues and wants things done his way all the time.
Some councillors accused Coltart, who many within the opposition party maintain was imposed by party leader Nelson Chamisa, of taking major decisions without consultations, such as the election of an acting deputy mayor when he was going on leave.
They said he did not follow the template that had always been used to determine who becomes an acting mayor.
“We have a dictator in the making despite calling ourselves democrats. Coltart imposes everything yet in terms of the law we are all equal with him only chairing full council meetings or other special meetings. His behaviour is like that of an Executive Mayor if not worse,” said a councillor who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Another councillor, who also requested anonymity, added:
“We have been in office for barely three months and already major decisions have been taken without consultations, the first being the election of an acting deputy mayor when Coltart was going on leave. The template has always been there on who becomes an acting mayor but perhaps he did not want the person who ought to be acting, Coltart then ordered that there be elections.”
In his defence, Coltart said he sometimes takes decisions in the interest of the city as they cannot meet frequently due to the city’s limited budget.
He said he understands the concerns raised and will have to improve in his consultation of them “and this is work in progress.”
“I try by all means to advise councillors as you know we are all ceremonial. Councillors get paid US$22 allowance per month that is all they are paid and as mayor I am paid US$25 per month, I am a ceremonial, not an Executive Mayor. We have a very limited budget and because of that we need to meet infrequently and I do try to advise councillors of matters perhaps not urgent enough and this is an ongoing issue and of course we are all new at this job. What I will say at this moment is that I understand some of these concerns and clearly I have to work harder to advise councillors and consult them on some of these decisions and that is work in progress,” said Coltart.