WASHINGTON DC —
A second Zimbabwe electoral Commissioner has resigned just three days after another official quit over the manner in which Wednesday’s national elections were conducted.
Professor Geoff Feltoe says it had always been his intention to resign from the electoral body after the 2013 elections. He says he is going back to teach at the University of Zimbabwe.
Unlike Mkhululi Nyathi who resigned Saturday, citing irregularities tied to the conduct of the polls won by President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party, Feltoe refused to say his decision was related to the way the polls were run.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has been come under fire from the opposition and local observers who charge the electoral body failed to run a free and fair poll.
Mr. Mugabe and Zanu PF convincingly won the parliamentary, council and presidential elections which are being disputed by Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change.
The international community led by Washington and the European Union are also questioning the credibility of the election.
ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau has dismissed allegations that the election was rigged.
Executive director Abel Chikomo of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said the resignations are insignificant.
Meanwhile, Botswana on Monday called on the Southern African Development Community to investigate Zimbabwe’s general election after the MDC-T’s rejection the outcome of the vote.
Botswana sent an 80-member poll watching group to monitor last Wednesday’s election in Zimbabwe. Botswana’s information minister said while they found that the election was free of violence and intimidation, there were other issues about the election process, particularly to do with the voters’ roll and the ability of people to vote, that need to be investigated.
He said Botswana is proposing an independent audit of the election to be done by SADC.
Ramsay said Botswana looks forward to hearing a response to its request from the regional bloc as heads of state and government in the region plan to meet at a SADC summit later this month in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.
Botswana’s call for an investigation comes a day after South African president Jacob Zuma congratulated Robert Mugabe for winning Zimbabwe’s presidential election with 61 percent of the total votes.
Some analysts say Botswana’s call could spark a diplomatic row with Zimbabwe.
But, Ramsay disagreed, saying his country’s inquiry call was not aimed at creating a diplomatic spat with President Mugabe’s administration.