Vultures plot against Coltart

 In their quest to have Coltart recalled, the councillors are smearing him with various frivolous accusations including ‘heavy handedness and dictatorship’.

A clique of Bulawayo councillors are said to be unhappy about mayor David Coltart’s zero tolerance to corruption and profligacy and are now pushing for his recall through controversial politician Sengezo Tshabangu.

Tshabangu, who claims to be the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) interim secretary general, has been recalling the party’s legislators and councillors with abandon much to the delight of Zanu PF.

 In their quest to have Coltart recalled, the councillors are smearing him with various frivolous accusations including ‘heavy handedness and dictatorship’.

This clique of CCC councillors are said to be working with Zanu PF to push for the mayor’s recall.

They are said to be fronting the interests of a former MDC A  MP for Bulawayo, who used his position as a councillor to acquire vast tracts of land in the city and tenders, which he now wants to shield from scrutiny by council.

It is understood that a basket of charges have been compiled against Coltart to have him removed.

Among others, they accused the mayor of running the city like an executive mayor and relegating them to mere spectators.

Inside sources, however, said the councillors were angry because their looting plans were being frustrated by Coltart.

In November, Coltart called on his fellow councils to declare their assets as a way to monitor and combat corruption but the proposal was met with fierce resistance.

The councillors refused to comply claiming they were not consulted.

Zanu PF councillor Nokuthula Sibanda did not confirm or deny the plot to have Coltart removed when contacted for comment.

She said councillors were not happy with Coltart for not consulting them.

Sibanda is a proportional representation councillor from the ruling party.

“We will engage him,” Sibanda said. “He does things on his own without consulting us.

“At first he engaged the Egodini project contractor Terracotta Pvt Ltd alone and after we complained we managed to meet them as councillors.

“He also goes on business trips without consulting us.”

Sibanda said councillors also wanted to be sleeping at hotels when attending workshops.

“He does not want to go with us for workshops, each time we ask him to do so he always tells us that he is a busy man,” she said.

"Last time when he went on leave he was supposed to leave the finance chairman acting  on his behalf as per council resolution but he chose to appoint  councillor Ntombizodwa Khumalo to remain in an acting capacity as a mayor.”

When contacted for comment Coltart said he was aware that some councillors were not happy with his style of leadership.

“I think the situation has been exacerbated these past few weeks because I have been exceptionally busy and have been traveling a great deal,” Coltart said on Friday.

“Tomorrow (yesterday) in fact will be the first Saturday I have been at home since October 14.

“Even my wife hasn’t seen much of me so even more so councillors.”

Coltart denied charges of not consulting his fellow councillors.

“As regards me not consulting that is not altogether true,” he said. “Before I went overseas in October I applied in a full council meeting for leave of absence which was granted.”

Coltart was in South Africa recently where he had been invited to the Tswalu Dialogue “which was not paid for by the city council and was not directly connected to council business.”

The former Education minister said the final trip last weekend was a direct invitation to him by Bloomberg Philanthropic.

“In all of these trips the town clerk and the deputy mayor (or acting mayor) were consulted and advised,” Coltart said.

“It has not been possible to consult with the entire body of councillors because we had not met as a full council until December 6.

“So whilst I understand their concerns about not being consulted, none of these trips involved council funding and all were personal invitations to me.”

 He added: “It must also be stressed that I am a ceremonial mayor - not an executive mayor.”

Former deputy mayor Donaldson Mabutho defended Coltart saying councillors that were angry with the mayors’ leadership style were corrupt individuals.

“He is a principled leader, a man of integrity,” Mabutho said. “Some trips are strictly for the mayor by invitation, it is up to him to choose someone who may represent him.”

Deputy mayor Edwin Ndlovu confirmed that a clique of councillors were plotting Coltart’s downfall.

“He is our spokesperson, he does not work like an executive mayor, he derives his strength from us as a team, whatever he says or does we would have agreed on as a team,” Ndlovu said.

It is understood that angry councillors were,however, scared of the backlash from Bulawayo residents should they be fingered for pushing for Coltart’s removal.

Bulawayo has faced grand corruption scandals involving councillors in the past.


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