The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
BULAWAYO Mayor, Councillor David Coltart’s recent remarks on rejecting the procurement of a mayoral vehicle have been exposed as a much ado about nothing after it emerged that the local authority last bought a vehicle for its number one resident in 2016.
Clr Coltart last Tuesday hogged the limelight while addressing civic society organisations and councillors during an engagement that was organised by the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association.
He said councillors were elected to serve not to be served by the people so they should not expect to benefit from their position instead should bring sanity to the city through improved service delivery.
“I came here using a car which has been used by the council for the past nine years, that car is enough for the whole of my term, I’m not going to get a new car for the next five years, unless we have enough ambulances,” he said.
“How can we have new cars whilst we have only five ambulances instead of 30, we only have four fire engines and six refuse trucks and we need the minimum of 11. So, it starts with me and it needs to reflect in you,” said Clr Coltart.
His sentiments were met with a social media frenzy with users praising him for his noble move, suggesting that this was what had been lacking within the local authority.
During his tenure as Education Minister, at the time of the Inclusive Government, Clr Coltart, seemingly hogged the limelight for a similar stance after he rejected a new Ministerial vehicle.
Investigations by Sunday News, however, revealed that Clr Coltart’s sentiments are not unique, nor is this the first time this has happened in council.
During the last council, the local authority did not purchase a vehicle to add on to their mayoral pool, instead the former Mayor, Mr Solomon Mguni was using a Mercedes Benz GLE 250, which was bought for the previous Mayor, Alderman Martin Moyo in 2016.
Prior to that, the local authority had last bought a mayoral vehicle in 2010, when they bought a Dodge Chrysler, which was used by the then Mayor, Alderman Thaba Moyo.
“In fact, it is not the sitting Mayor who has a say when a mayoral vehicle is bought. What happens is that there are vehicles that make up the mayoral pool, which are managed by the Department of Engineering Services.
“It is the prerogative of the department to maintain these vehicles and assess their usability, they are the ones who then recommend if there is a need for a vehicle to be bought for the mayoral pool or not,” said a council source.
The local authority’s corporate communications manager, Mrs Nesisa Mpofu, confirmed that it was not the Mayor’s say whether a new mayoral vehicle was purchased or not but the prerogative of the engineering services department, as guided by the city’s fleet management policy.
“The Mayoral pool has two vehicles that is, the Mercedes Benz GLE250 acquired in 2016 and a Mazda BT50 double cab acquired in 2010.The last Mayoral pool vehicle was last bought in 2016, vehicles under the Mayoral pool fall under the Town Clerk’s Department
“The city’s fleet management policy specifies life expectancy of all vehicles. The Engineering Services Department recommends in line with the policy, the management committee approves the recommendation and the Procurement Management Unit does the procurement,” said the council spokesperson.