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ZANU PF affiliate launches racist attack against Bulawayo Mayor

A ZANU PF affiliate, ZANU PF Patriots, has accused Bulawayo Mayor, David Coltart (CCC), of being complicit in the killing of scores of indigenous people before the country attained majority rule in 1980.

ZANU PF Patriots was reacting to Coltart’s earlier announcement that he would not attend the Independence Day celebrations on 18 April 2024 because the Government failed to recognise the Office of Mayor.

The ruling party affiliate, through its official X page, asserted that Coltart made the right decision by avoiding the event, alleging that he, along with former Rhodesian soldiers, had harmed indigenous people and harboured bitterness. It said:

David Coltart did well by not attending independence celebrations. He killed our people. We defeated him and other Smith regime soldiers. He is still bitter, we did not want bitter people at independence events today.

Commenting on the same issue, exiled former ZANU PF Politburo member Jonathan Moyo said Coltart’s decision to avoid the event “spoke volumes not only about Coltart’s lingering Rhodie politics” but also “his deep-seated hatred of Zimbabwe’s independence itself”. He wrote on X:

Reports that David Coltart – the party-less Bulawayo mayor – yesterday “snubbed” Zimbabwe’s Independence Day celebrations in the city that he purports to lead, apparently to protest what he alleged is the disrespect of his office by government, belie the fact that this is a case of an ex-Rhodie who fought in vain for and with Rhodesia to oppose and prevent the making of the nation-state of Zimbabwe that Zimbabweans in and outside the country were commemorating yesterday.

The “snub” spoke volumes not only about Coltart’s lingering Rhodie politics but also about the fact that – 44 years since Uhuru – he has not come to terms with the fact of Zimbabwe’s national independence as a permanent historical and existential reality.

It is telling that Coltart did not only publicise his “snub” of independence day commemorations as a big story and a major media event; but he also proved his deep-seated hatred of Zimbabwe’s independence itself by making sure that he did not organise a separate or alternative event for the residents of Bulawayo who follow or believe in his politics.

Here is a mayor of Bulawayo who did not want Bulawayo to have independence celebrations of any kind yesterday.

In this connection, it is also notable that Coltart’s “snub” of Independence Day was representational in that it was emblematic of the views and interests of his white constituents in Bulawayo who, like him, were conspicuous by their absence from the independence celebrations.

But, of course, the people celebrated in their numbers.

Going forward, now that he has made his “snub” of Zimbabwe clear and loud on the one and only one special day that matters the most as a symbolic expression and affirmation of Zimbabwe’s sovereignty, Coltart and his ilk should not be surprised, and they should not complain, when he is snubbed in practical terms, and even booted out of office!

Coltart explained his reasons for snubbing the Independence Day to Bulawayo Councillors, saying he had not been formally invited to attend the event by the Government. He said:

Councillors I need to explain my position to you all regarding the Independence Day celebrations today.

Whilst a general notice has been sent out to Councillor, the office of the Mayor has not been invited by Government to attend. This is a basic courtesy which should be extended to the office, not me personally as such.

I have also been advised that in recent years Mayors were snubbed at Independence Day celebrations to such an extent that they no longer attended. Whilst I hope this treatment of Mayors has ended I am not prepared to allow it to happen again.

A few weeks ago I was invited to a function – a Business Expo – where the office of the Mayor was snubbed by Government at the event. I registered a protest and left. I am not prepared to allow the office of Mayor to be denigrated again.

I have made sure that at events I have control over, appropriate Government officials are invited personally and I expect that the office of Mayor will be respected in a similar fashion going forward.

I am grateful that you are attending this national celebration and am with you all in spirit.

God bless Zimbabwe.

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