Bulawayo Mayor skips Independence Day Celebrations, cites lack of respect


BULAWAYO – Bulawayo Mayor Councillor David Coltart did not attend Zimbabwe's 44th Independence Day Celebrations on Thursday held in the city, citing a lack of respect shown to his office by the central government. 

David Coltart 

In a message posted to councillors on X (formerly Twitter), Coltart claimed that the central government failed to extend an invitation to the office of the Mayor. 

“Whilst a general notice has been sent out to Councillors the office of Mayor has not been invited by Government to attend,” Coltart said. 

He further explained, “This is a basic courtesy which should be extended to the office, not me personally as such.”

He also revealed that in recent years, Mayors were snubbed at Independence Day celebrations to such an extent that they no longer attended. 

Coltart expressed his determination to prevent a recurrence of such disrespect. “Whilst I hope this treatment of Mayors has ended I am not prepared to allow it to happen again,” he said. 

The Mayor also recalled a recent incident at a Business Expo where the office of Mayor was snubbed by the Government. 

“I registered a protest and left. I am not prepared to allow the office of Mayor be denigrated again,” Coltart said. 

He concluded by stating his expectation for mutual respect between government offices. 

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

Zimbabwe’s 44th Independence Day celebrations, carrying the theme “Unity, Peace and Development Towards Vision 2030,” were held in all 10 provinces. 

The main anniversary celebrations took place in Murambinda, Manicaland Province, while provincial celebrations in Bulawayo were presided over by Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube. 

Since President Emmerson Mnangagwa took office, celebrations have rotated across the provinces, promoting his administration’s goal of inclusivity and aligning with the government’s agenda of devolution and decentralisation.

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