Opposition has been corrupt in Byo council – Coltart
Bulawayo (New Ziana) – New Bulawayo mayor, David Coltart said on Wednesday successive opposition municipal administrations of the city engaged in corruption, which he vowed to root out.
He was speaking at a meeting between a civic group representing residents, and the newly elected councillors of the city, the country’s second largest.
“I have watched with astonishment for the past 20 years as the opposition in control of this city has used its elected positions to get preferential access to stands and other benefits,” said.
“Corruption undermines what we stand for as the opposition in this country. We stand for bringing something different,” Coltart said.
“We have to demonstrate a different standard of leadership and it has to start with us. I know there are some elected councilors who may be seeing the next five years as a platform for opportunities but I’m here to say no, and it has to start with me,” he said.
He said local authorities were there to serve residents, and not for officials to derive self-benefit by virtual of their positions in council.
Coltart said service to residents entailed endeavouring, at all times, to provide quality services such as refuse collection and water.
“Council is here to serve and not to be served and I hope this will be dominant across the five years. We are not here to see what residential stands we can get for ourselves and what benefits we are likely to get for ourselves by virtue of our positions,” he said.
He vowed his new administration will adopt a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption, but admitted this required a collective effort by the community.
“To demonstrate how serious I am about this issue I am not going to get myself a mayoral vehicle in my five years, instead I’ll be using a vehicle which is quite usable and has been with the council for over nine years. Unless it breaks down totally or unless we have acquired ambulances as a city,” Coltart said.
“We cannot be buying mayoral vehicles yet we have five ambulances when we should be having 30. It doesn’t make sense. We have four fire engines and six functional refuse collection trucks. So, it starts with me and I want to see that reflected across the council,” he said.