I’m under no illusion, the battle will be tough: Coltart

MDC candidate for Bulawayo East constituency David Coltart was first elected to represent Bulawayo South House of Assembly constituency in March 2000 and was re-elected in March 2005.

In March 2008, he was elected Senator for Kumalo in Bulawayo.

Senator Coltart was sworn in as Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture in February 2009.

Coltart (DC) says his illustrious track record and ability to bridge the political divide is the ace up his sleeve in his bid to win Bulawayo East constituency.

The following are excerpts of an interview with NewsDay Senior Features Reporter Phillip Chidavaenzi (ND).

ND: Who is David Coltart?

DC: I am a Zimbabwean born in Gweru and raised in Bulawayo. I went to schools in Bulawayo and then went to the University of Cape Town where I studied law.
I have been practicing since 1983. I helped in the setting-up of the Bulawayo Legal Projects Centre.

In the same year, I was appointed secretary of the Bulawayo Legal Practitioners’ Association. I was instrumental in getting the Gukurahundi reports published between 1997 and 1998.

In 1999 I joined the MDC at its formation as the legal secretary and worked with (Prime Minister) Morgan Tsvangirai and Gibson Sibanda.
ND: What are you promising the Bulawayo East constituency?

DC: I have been the senator for the Kumalo constituency for the last three years. I have demonstrated my ability to set up large and small projects, including the Bulawayo Legal Centre.

When I was still MP for Bulawayo South, I started a variety of projects including an irrigation scheme in Nketa, which is still running to this day.
As minister, I have been responsible for a variety of major initiatives that have benefited Bulawayo. These include the renovations at Khumalo Hockey Stadium.

I was also able to persuade government to allocate the Zone VI Games to Bulawayo and that brought a $142 million investment for the rehabilitation of Barbourfields Stadium, White City Stadium and Luveve Stadium.

ND: What do you consider the most pertinent issues in this election?

DC: The most pertinent issues are the national issues that have affected this country for a long time now and my drive is to make sure that the country does not slide back to the pre-2008 scenario.

ND: How do you reckon your chances of winning the seat? Do you see any threats from other contestants?

DC: I am under no illusion. This is going to be a tough battle. I appreciate that this seat was lost by the party that I am standing for in 2008. I am standing against (Thabitha) Khumalo, the incumbent MP, who is very hardworking. I recognise I have a lot of work to do.

But the electorate will see the work that I did while I was holding the senatorial seat (which encompassed Bulawayo East and Central) and they are able to realise that I have been a hardworking senator.

ND: Why have you opted for the parliamentary seat in the forthcoming elections?

DC: This was a request from my party and the reason was that this time, the senators will not be elected directly. So the feeling in the party was that as the incumbent senator who has been in this area before, I should contest in the House of Assembly race.

ND: How has your use of social media ahead of this election impacted on your campaign?

DC: I have been involved with social media for a very long time. My website was set up in 2006 and I have been using Facebook and Twitter for many years now.

I was one of the first MPs to have a website. As of now, I have 2 500 followers on Twitter and about

8 000 on my Facebook page. This is a very useful medium to get messages across to the electorate.

I have since initiated an sms campaign, through which I have reached over 3 000 people in the constituency.

It’s very expensive to have adverts in the newspapers and the electronic media is controlled by Zanu PF, so this has been an effective way of campaigning.
ND: What would you say voters should look for when voting for their representatives in Parliament?

DC: I believe in the old adage which says “all politics is local”. People are looking for an MP who has a track record in representing the interests of the constituency. They are looking for someone who has the national interest at heart.

Because the political environment is so polarised, it’s important to vote in people who can reach out across the political divide and take the country forward.

For example, when I was able to persuade Cabinet to allow the Zone VI Games to be held in Bulawayo, I convinced both the MDC and Zanu PF.

ND: Zanu PF accuses you of what it has called “donorfication” of education in their election manifesto. What do you have to say to this?
DC: I am actually one of the people singled out by name (in the manifesto) and for me this shows that my contribution has been extensive.

They say I did it illegally. It’s nonsense. This was part of the Education Transition Fund set up by the United Nations Children’s Fund, with the involvement of the Education ministry.

It’s meant to ensure transparency. Donors have not complained and that means there has been transparency.

Had it not been for that fund, we would not have been able to achieve even a quarter of what we have been able to achieve in education in the last four years.

The education sector was supported by donors after independence. The reason why it had collapsed over the years is because Zanu PF has not been able to access donor money.

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  1. Let’s vote for ZANU pf..not for any Rhodesian guys.

    1. @mujuru, just being white doesn’t mean you are a Rhodesian wakasara seZanu, what of Harritatos muRhodesian futi, URIMBWA!!

    2. Ko Philip Chiyangwa

    3. My Friend Factionist, dont be a Racist. Zimbabwe is for us all. Baba Mugabe is our Leader and he will Lead us in the next Term.

    4. Chief Charumbira

      Senator Coltart deserves everyone’s vote-he has transformed the education sector by ensuring that each child has a text book. He has ensured that the donors’ money has been utilised for the purposes it is meant for. I salute you Senator and though I am not in your party, I would have voted for you if I was residing in your constituency. You are a really hard worker and I am confident GOD is with you all the way through.

    5. RUBBISH!

  2. Tendai Chaminuka

    This is one minister who should retain his seat coz he has been outstanding.Has an open door policy seyaRoosevelt.Was very surprised that our Minister of Finance was once said to be one of the best in Africa.What flattery.Maybe coz the jury comprised of capitalists nokuti his policies are they to propel the interests of vadzvanyiriri.

  3. Colthart is a hard work.We need to support him with our vote.We can do ourselves favor by voting this self less and people needs sensitive selfless meritorious leader.Forward with multiparty merit based democracy.

  4. Good guy but the side from which he is fighting…. i am not sure of his chances

  5. coltat my friend, you are on the boat. try to change your boat before it is too late. you are good but your party is a zanupf agent

  6. guud player wrong team

  7. Steven Gerrard will never win the Premier League @ Liverpool. David Coltart will…(complete the sentence)

  8. now this is the guy i’m voting for. i am registered in your constituent

  9. Wellington Mkundwa

    Coltart is a level headed man but the party he represents is not people oriented hence its councillors and mps left in droves.Just like in Zanu pf we have people like Paddy Zhanda ,the late Chindori Chininga and Mai Mujuru who are sober minded but their brand soils their image.

  10. i believe there z an ommission, where was he and what was he doing b4 1983, idiotic BSAP chap. stupid architect of ZIDERA!!!

  11. Lets go vote for this man he tells the truth, unlike so many a minister, prime minister or president. Go David go

  12. He is the man, count one Vote so far. Green machine 4sure !!!!!

  13. Good leader but must ditch Gheko Ncube the C10

  14. The only reasons bulawayo east will vote Thabitha Khumalo,she ddnt abandon the peoples wishes fr a change in zimbabwe ,you decided to join a zanu pf agent leader who was promised mining rights if he shun any grand coalition chances to unseat zanu pf ,you were one of the most influencial leaders in our party but you went with losers ,you prolonged poverty in zimbabwe by supporting Simba Makoni,im sorry yu will be unemployed fr the next 5 yrs

  15. nothing to debate here Khumalo is a woman who stand with the people when zanu pf agents destroyed the party in October 5 2005 ,she deserved to be rewarded Coltart rember how Ncube was humiliated with Khupe in 2008 watch the space its all about serving the people’s wishes remember who suppported Simba Makoni in 2008 its pay back time .

  16. If Welshman Ncube is a cio so is Tshwangilayi.
    If Welshman Ncube is a zanu agent so is Tshwangilayi
    If welsh splits the votes so is tshwangilayi

  17. we thank David for what he has done and as someone in his constituency definitely i will give him my vote.He is a people’s person, we always enjoy his feedback meetings.

  18. Yaaa anoshanda unlike Kennedy Matimba of Zanu Pf in Bikita no improvement for the past 20 years.

    1. I agree with you coz another year i found Matimba snoring on hot day in his car all windows closed and he was sweating. If a man can’t think of opening windows how about development. Anyway we will see come election.

  19. Hezvo – It’s not about emotions Ndabitshekile. Coltart could be right but his boat is sinking

  20. coltart must join zanu pf thats it

  21. Sober minister.Am encouraged by your struggle for the freedom of ZAPU guys when they were arrested now and again by ZANU in the eighties.A dedicated lawyer indeed.I wish you were my president sir

  22. muzukuru ndaneta

    No man or woman from any political part in Zimbabwe cn win against coltart. U MDCt supporters u cn say whtever u say and insult bt tht will not change. Remember he won last time agaisnt u under t same sinking boat and he will do it again

  23. He is the only minister who refused a benz and has resurrected the education system after Chigwedere left it lifeless


    Coltart u are clever bcoz u are nt underestimating the sitting junta honourable Thabita Khumalo.Its 4 all those who care to c that u ar gng 2 beaten hands down only bcoz of the party u represent which is an extension of the zanu moribund as Dumiso pt it smartly that they ar working 4 the Tsvangirai to lose so hokoyo mukiwa wth Thabita

  25. don’t talk about zanu pf the killers

  26. coltart will have a hard time winning the seat because the incubent has an advantage but he is a good guy, we need his zeal in government

  27. oliver chikumba.the same sinking party is the one who voted for coltart.remember when mthwakazians vote they vote with a sense of vision.your mdc t party will be history because of your clueless leader.

  28. I am a teacher have seen what you didbut you are in the wrong camp why cant you join MORGAN FOR A SOLID parliamentary seat.

  29. I think you need to join MORGAN FOR MORE

  30. Pambe Kwa Bopi

    Coltart is an unrepentant white Rhodesian who has no Black interests at heart.

  31. Mr DC you are Zanu PF? Your master Ncube has NO DIRECTION for the ordinary poor zimbos. You are busy de-campaigning Tsvangarai instead to join forces to STOP THE COMING OFTHE ZIM DOLLAR . You joined the wrong ship SHAME on you. VOTE T KHUMALO – BYO EAST

  32. mr coltart u a th man u hav made xooling a delight fo a hell lot of th mases kip goin skin is jus nothn but colour zimbabwe is fo zimbabweans

  33. Being black doesn’t mean you are more Zimbabwean than a whitemen who is also Zimbabwean.Even Robert Mugabe worked for the Rhodesian gvt as a teacher.Joshua Saco is white the fact that he supports Zanu Pf does not make him a better white.When will stop using race and tribe as a means of judging one another.Coltart represented people of Matebeleland during Gukurahundi in many legal matters,which many black lawyers did not do.People who are saying Coltart is racist because he served BSAP,what will you say of people who are serving security organs under Zanu Pf now if MDC win the elections and form the next gvt?Are we going to condemn all the people in present day army,police and intelligence?are some of them not giving vital information to the MDCs so that we will all have a better Zimbabwe.I once served one of the security organs and left because it was no longer viable to support the oppressive regime.I support the MDC T,but I have a feeling of let’s not brush everyone in service with the same brush.

  34. Stop playing the race card. Vamwe venyu you served Ian Douglas Smith as Selous Scouts, Dzakutsaku, Puruvheya etc. Now that you are holding positions in government or ZANU[PF] you are holier than the rest of us. I know of a man who had a big post under Muzo who was appointed Provincial Governor after Zimbabwe’s independence ! Then there was a former member of Rhodesian African Rifles [RAR] who landed a post of provincial party chairperson. Is it changing with the times or political flip-flopping ?

  35. Stop playing the race card. Vamwe venyu you served Ian Douglas Smith as Selous Scouts, Dzakutsaku, Puruvheya etc. Now that you are holding positions in government or ZANU[PF] you are holier than the rest of us. I know of a man who had a big post under Muzo who was appointed Provincial Governor after Zimbabwe’s independence ! Then there was a former member of Rhodesian African Rifles [RAR] who landed a post of provincial party chairperson. Is it changing with the times or political flip-flopping ? ? ?

  36. Viva Ncube, viva Coltard

  37. Coltart is one of the best leaders here in Zimbabwe. He kp on giving his followers feedbacks and respect the interests of pple. He has helped a lot in reviving the education system. Its a must to vote for him regardless of his political party. VOTE COLTART! Those who are brainwashed talk of his colour as e reason for not voting for him. If I may ask: in what way wl voting for a brainless minister jus bcz he is black or he is frm mdct help??? Thr a ppl we need frm zanu,mdcn , mdct and other political parties to take part in e next gvnt of Morgan Tsvangirai.

  38. pemba u racist jealous dog.learn to stare reality in the face u mlicious war mongerer.i will bash the living daylights out of you.test me….u piece of shit

  39. prophet jeremiah


  40. it will be disappointing to have one of these two thabitha and david out of this government. welshman you have done us harm when you are a very bright man. so bad. your fight against tsvangirai has made you not think about the people. you know what people want and you have said to yourself, i want to fix morgan and i dont care what happens to the people. you know that you will not win this election and that will make it difficult for you to even win the next one 2018 when your real chance will be. you are postponing you time to become the ruler of this country. we love you but are not happy in the way you are doing it. its a sad story . we the people have always been hopeful that you and morgan will one day before elections come to your senses but it seems it is not failing. well hope something will come up in the few coming days. your sacrifise to support moyo in being the speaker of parliment which we the people got excited about will be forgotten now because of what you have done. we were soon about to tell tsvangirai to reward you, but it seems you are throwing it out in the last minute. to bad.

    1. Laurie we kwa Bopi

      Coltart is a white Rhodesian racist who fought fiercely against the blacks during the liberation struggle. “What were you fighting against Coltart?” Get your votes from your kith and kin.

  41. So Zanu PF didn’t destroy the education sector after all? Its the donors who withheld funding. Interesting.

  42. Politics is nt analysed in pieces bt as a unit. U dnt sugar in a poison container becoz its sweet! This same coltart of urs together w dictator ncube sidelined e winning mp’s n gave gov posts to eir luzing friends ana misihairambwi. Ey blocked an mdc victory lyk wt dabengwa says n so ey gave zanu a victory. Schools are open cz headmasters r overcharging parents on fees n incentives, simple n coltart presided over e mess. Form 1 entrance test fees evryyr n coltart is quiet. Thabita is our hero, y cz n mp js nids to be simple. Lokho okwabolegal centre we dnt care abt that cz we nid bread n butter issues. Skhanyiso did beta than coltart in educaxn bt u never voted hm so same w coltart. Thabita has my vote n that of the ppl seekin genuine change

  43. sammy.welshman is not tswangilayis slave.why do you want welshman do join umazip.you are making us the mthwakazians to love him more.viva welshman the party spoiler.umazip will never rule zimbabwe as long as dabengwa is around or until he humbles himself.

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