Bulawayo only has 5 ambulances, needs 30

The City of Bulawayo is only operating with five ambulances and needs a fleet of thirty to fully service the city, the mayor Cllr David Coltart has revealed.

He was speaking at an engagement meeting with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on Tuesday.

Due to the lack of service delivery vehicles, Cllr Coltart said he will forgo getting a new mayoral vehicle during his term of office but will instead prioritize other key areas that need financial attention.

Cllr Coltart said the city is in dire need of ambulances, fire engines, and refuse collection trucks, which need to be prioritized.

He reiterated that leaders are chosen to serve, not to be served by people, and as such they must not seek to benefit themselves at the expense of people.

“There is a car at the city council, it has been there for the past nine years. It will be enough for my five-year term. I’m not going to buy a new mayoral vehicle, unless this one breaks down or unless we get full complement of our ambulances. How can we have only five ambulances when we need thirty and still prioritize mayoral vehicles, that is absolute nonsense,” the mayor said.

“The town clerk said we only have four engines and 6 refuse collection trucks. We need a minimum of 11 to smoothly collect refuse. We have got a serious task ahead of us. It starts with me, but I want to see it reflected in you. We also need the CSOs to back us up in this exposure and accountability.”

Cllr Coltart highlighted that some of his predecessors have been demeaning the values of opposition parties by imitating leadership traits of the ruling party by enriching themselves at the expense of the people they must serve.

“There are policies in place that a councilor may get one stand per five years, that’s Ok because this is an honorous task, but that’s where it ends. We must have total transparency. We need to have deep introspection as leaders, we cannot thrive to get on particular committees for particular benefits for ourselves. That has to end. As councilors we need to remember that we are elected to serve not to be served. I hope that that will be a dominant theme for the next five years. We are not here to prioritize what benefits we might get for ourselves by virtue of our positions,” he said.

“I have watched with astonishment and sat deep in thought in the last 20 years. The opposition in control of this council, has used its elective position to get preferential access to stands and other benefits and in so doing have completely demeaned the office of the councilor and the city council. They have also undermined what we stand for as the opposition in this country.

“We stand for being something different to the regime that has been in power for 40 years. If we get into office and we do the exact same thing, we don’t just undermine the political party we represent, we undermine the very notion of democracy in our nation. And we undermine the people we love, the people we must serve. If we don’t demonstrate a different standard of leadership, how can we expect a different standard from other people? Maybe there are some recently elected individuals who may be seeing this as an opportunity for themselves, we need to set a new standard.”

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