Wednesday 29 November 2023


 Some councillors are apparently dragging their heels in complying with Bulawayo mayor, Councillor David Coltart’s call to disclose their assets, CITE has learnt.

When Coltart assumed office, he submitted this request in order to combat corruption within the local authority and to enable lifestyle audits in order to expose those who may seek to use their positions to amass wealth illegally.

According to sources who spoke to CITE on the condition of anonymity, some councillors have refused to comply with the mayor’s call claiming they were not consulted, prompting residents to speculate and come up with ‘various theories’ as to why some were refusing.

“Some even fear that Coltart may be overthrown by the councillors who are refusing to comply while others councilors have signed the asset declaration forms,” said one the sources within council.

As part of compliance, the source said councilors must simply report the assets they own so that at the end of their term, it can be determined whether the assets they purchased represent what they may have obtained over a single term of office.

“This is to curb corruption among duty bearers and holders of public offices because there is no way you can run council without knowing who owns what,” said the source.

“For example, under normal circumstances and given our current economic situation, it is not possible to have acquired two or three houses in a space of one term of office.”

The source said their duty as councilors was to protect the city and its resources.

“Some of the assets that people have, actually show that one assumed office with the intention of protecting the city and to improve its state. There has always been an outcry from residents that it is important for public office holders to declare their assets so that people can be assured the person they voted for has good intentions of protecting peoples’ interests and pushing Bulawayo forward,” said the source.

The point of dispute among councillors is that some are refusing to cooperate, claiming they were not consulted, and are accusing Coltart of “being a dictator.”

“There are now allegations that Cllr Coltart is a dictator who is doing things without consulting other councillors. This adds on to allegations that Cllr Coltart also dictated who was to be acting mayor while he was away on leave. However all these procedures were above board as they were openly discussed in a council meeting where the constitution was quoted and councillors voted,” the source said.

Sources also claimed that more allegations had risen that the mayor had a private meeting with representatives of Terracota Company regarding the Egodini project whose minutes are unknown.

“The Egodini project was signed back in 2015 and started around 2020 so we really don’t understand where these allegations are coming from,” said one of the sources.

“We are concerned that if such issues persist, disgruntled councillors may actually overthrow the mayor, which is something that we do not want in our council. We do not want all the councilors to be painted with one brush for defying what the mayor said. There is a clique of councilors that are dragging their feet and now every other councilor is affected.”

The Bulawayo City Council had not formally responded to questions emailed to them by the time this article was published. CITE


Post a Comment