DEFECTION: Jacqueline Zwambila is seeking asylum in Australia
ZIMBABWE’S AMBASSADOR to Australia is seeking asylum after she defected from the Southern African state and accused president Robert Mugabe of having “stolen” this year’s election, according to local media reports.
Jacqueline Zwambila has been shown in a video, posted by Canberra Times, making a scathing attack on Mugabe’s regime, calling it “illegitimate” after accusing the “current government” of having “stolen” the July national elections.
She claimed she wanted asylum because of fears over her personal safety if she returned to Zimbabwe.
Zwambila said: “There's no way I would feel safe to be in Zimbabwe or go back.
“Once the elections of July 31 were stolen by the current government, which is illegitimate, I knew that this is the end of the line”.
The top diplomat, who was appointed as ambassador by former Zimbabwean prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, also claimed she had been threatened and faced a “smear campaign” following Zanu-PF’s election victory in the summer that ended a four-year power-sharing agreement between Mugabe and Tsvangirai's party MDC.
The government in Zimbabwe dismissed her claims.
Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi said: "Everyone is entitled to their opinion but her remarks are surprising because all the leaders of the MDC... are here.
"If she is threatened by anyone, she should tell us, as we are responsible for security here as central government."
International monitors and regional observers expressed concerns about Zimbabwe’s previous election, in which widespread voting irregularities were reported in urban areas before Mugabe and his party won both presidential and parliamentary polls.