Another top Zimbabwe electoral official resigns

A man casts his vote at a polling booth in a school in Harare on July 31, 2013. A Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) top official has resigned following a disputed election that saw President Robert Mugabe securing a seventh consecutive term. ALEXANDER JOE | AFP 

A second Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) official has resigned following a disputed election that saw President Robert Mugabe securing a seventh consecutive term.

This comes as Botswana is pushing for an audit of Zimbabwe’s election results saying a preliminary report from its observer mission showed that polls were manipulated.

Botswana's Foreign Affairs minister Phandu Skelemani said the country was concerned that Zimbabwe's vote had not measured up to Southern African Development Community (SADC) guidelines.

"Various incidents and circumstances were revealed that call into question whether the entire electoral process, and thus its final result, can be recognised as having been fair, transparent and credible," he said in rare African criticism of the vote.

Back in Harare, Professor Joe Feltoe reportedly told President Robert Mugabe in a letter that he was returning to his job at the University of Zimbabwe where he was a law lecturer.

His resignation came days after another lawyer, Mr Mkhululi Nyathi, threw in the towel last week citing what he described as the unprofessional manner the elections were conducted.

Court challenge

President Mugabe won 61 per cent of the vote but his main rival and outgoing prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai has refused to concede defeat saying the polls were rigged.

Mr Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on Tuesday said it will file court applications challenging results of the elections in at least 100 constituencies.

President Mugabe’s victory will also be challenged by Friday, in a move that will delay his inauguration.

“We are pursuing the legal, diplomatic and political routes,” MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said.

“As we speak we are compiling the dossier on the irregularities of the polls before, during and after the elections.

“On the legal route by Friday we should have filed the main court application challenging the results challenging the results of the presidential election and over 100 other applications challenging the outcome of the polls in House of Assembly constituencies.”

MDC is alleging voter intimidation and manipulation of voters during the July 31 elections.

According to Zimbabwe’s new constitution, President Mugabe can only be sworn in after all electoral court challenges have been cleared and this has to be completed within 14 days.

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