Coltart gives Bulawayo, not Chamisa, a chance to decide his fate

Bulawayo Mayor David Coltart


Bulawayo mayor David Coltart ruled out chances of an arbitrary resignation in solidarity with Nelson Chamisa before consulting Bulawayo residents.

Coltart maintained that a decision on his political future is imminent but stressed that it will be influenced by “those I am directly responsible to.”

Coltart, like other Citizens Coalition for Change MPs and councillors, is under pressure to quit in solidarity with Nelson Chamisa, who resigned as leader last week after declaring that the party has been “contaminated, bastardised and hijacked.”

Fadzayi Mahere resigned as MP for Mt Pleasant on Monday and said she had ceased to be a CCC member, but party insiders say there is no stampede to leave just yet.

Coltart said: “I am still consulting a broad cross range of those who elected me, the residents of the great city of Bulawayo, trusted advisors, the elders of my church and of course my family.

“I will issue a clear statement regarding my intentions before next week. In essence, my focus is on those I am directly responsible to.”

Coltart has won plaudits with his development-oriented manifesto for the city after being elected mayor in September last year. Many Bulawayo residents have taken to social media to urge him to stay as they warn that him leaving City Hall could open the door to the ruling Zanu PF party to either impose a commission to run the city’s affairs, or a Zanu PF councillor might take over.

CCC controls most urban councils in the country, including the major cities of Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo and Mutare, and mass resignations could leave Zanu PF in charge – a proposition many are failing to accept.

Remaining in CCC also means elected councillors and MPs remain at the mercy of Sengezo Tshabangu, the self-styled CCC interim secretary general who has withdrawn more than two dozen lawmakers from parliament, one of the key developments that forced Chamisa’s exit.

Senior CCC figures have reportedly opened discussions with Tshabangu to hand over control of the party leading up to a congress. The party, meanwhile, is set to name an interim leader to replace Chamisa at a meeting of its national standing committee on Tuesday.

Chamisa, meanwhile, is mulling forming a new political movement. Some CCC MPs and councillors say they will wait for him to announce his plans before making decisions on whether to quit their positions or stay with CCC at least for the next four years leading to elections in 2028.


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