Bulawayo residents slam imposition of Mayor
Nqobile Tshili, [email protected]
BULAWAYO residents have slammed Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) for imposing Mr David Coltart as the city’s mayor saying his selection violated the law.
The residents demanded that newly elected councillors should be apolitical in executing their duties.
Ward 4 councillor David Coltart was endorsed as the city’s mayor while Ward 9 councillor Donald Mabutho was selected unopposed as the deputy mayor.
CCC president Mr Nelson Chamisa publicly endorsed Cllr Coltart to be the city’s next mayor in the build up to the August 2023 harmonised elections.
In a statement yesterday, the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) said Cllr Coltart and Cllr Mabutho have a serious task in leading the transformation of the city into its past glory.
Bulawayo used to be one of the cleanest cities in southern Africa but dirt, disorder and alleged mismanagement has become the new order in the local authority.
“It is the submission of BPRA that political parties must realise that once in office, elected officials represent all residents, not only their political parties,” reads the statement.
BPRA said residents are now waiting for the election of council committee chairpersons and the expectation is that it will be based on merit.
“Councillors upon consultation with relevant stakeholders should be allowed to exercise their rights and perform their tasks independently according to the Urban Councils Act Chapter 29:15. The citizens of Bulawayo request the following in light of the aforementioned: Council Committee chairpersons be elected by the councillors through a democratic process without the interference of any political party. Council Committees Chairpersons form the General Purposes Committee which is the nucleus of decision-making and must be chosen by discretion to ensure the most capable councillors are elected to this position,” reads the statement.
“The Urban Councils Act Chapter 29:15 gives Councillors the right to elect Council Committees’ Chairpersons at their discretion.”
Concerns have already been raised that the city’s mayor, Mr Coltart, was imposed on councillors by the opposition’s leader Mr Nelson Chamisa.
The residents demanded that political parties should consult residents before imposing leaders on them.
“Political parties should consult residents and other stakeholders before exercising their political party whipping powers on the recall of councillors as they are the ones that elect councillors through voting. Residents have in the past witnessed the recall of councillors that they elected which violates their democratic right to choose their own local leaders. Political parties should place the concerns of the residents at the center of their decision-making,” read the statement.
The residents also demanded gender parity in the appointment of committee chairpersons.