TENSION engulfed the swearing-in ceremony of David Coltart as the new Mayor of Bulawayo as protesters blasted Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa for imposing candidates.
Coltart sailed through to the Mayorship chair uncontested in a CCC dominated council with Donald Mabutho deputising him.
In an awkward moment before the nomination of contenders, Coltart pleaded to delay the election under the guise of an internal process that was not granted to him.
Coltart nominated Donald Mabutho, an unpopular councillor among the residents of Bulawayo who view him as an outsider.
According to reports, Dumisani Nkomo had been mooted for the deputy Mayorship.
After the swearing in ceremony, a number of protesters gathered outside attacking Chamisa for the imposition, which they say is an affront to them.
Patricia Tshabala, a vocal critic in Bulawayo, lashed out at Chamisa.
“You have sold out the City by electing outsiders. I am angry with everyone who has sold out. Get out of here.
“You have given away the only thing we have. You can go tell Chamisa that he is a bad person, he has taken over Bulawayo, this city is the King’s (Lobengula) kingdom. Go and build your own town house and city somewhere else.
“You can’t come from outside Bulawayo and become Mayors and councillors in Bulawayo,” said Tshabalala.
Bulawayo City Council is rocked by allegations of corruption and misgovernance by the previous leadership.
In his acceptance speech, promised to clean up corruption dogged municipality.
This has disrupted service delivery in Bulawayo.
“This City has a potential to become the greatest City in Africa. To revive our City, it is going to take collective effort of all political parties, civic organisations and faith based organisations and ordinary citizens of Bulawayo.
“We are conscious of allegations of corruption. I do not know personally whether they are correct or not. As a Mayor I will adopt a zero tolerance attitude towards corruption that is directed to my councillors.
“Unless we deal with this cancer in our society we are not going to develop our City ,” said Coltart. – Newzim