Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Australia has defected and is asking the Australian government for asylum.
Jacqueline Zwambila has told Fairfax media she fears for her life and will not be returning home when her term ends on Tuesday.
Ms Zwambila is aligned to Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.
She says she knew it meant the end of her term when Mr Mugabe won elections earlier this year.
“Once the elections of 31 July were stolen by the current government – which is illegitimate – I knew that this was the end of the line,” she says in a video on the Canberra Times website.
“End of the line for the people of Zimbabwe … and for people like me, who were appointed by the ex-prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai.”
Mr Mugabe, long considered an international pariah, finished with 61 per cent of the vote at the election, amid claims of intimidation and tampering with electoral rolls.
Mr Mugabe, 89, has called on his opponents to accept defeat or commit suicide, telling the New York Times that “even dogs will not sniff at their flesh if they choose to die that way”.