Zimbabwe's ambassador to Australia seeks asylum, calls Mugabe's government 'illegitimate'

Zimbabwe's ambassador to Australia has asked the Australian government for asylum, calling Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's government "illegitimate."

Australia's Fairfax media reported Saturday that Ambassador Jacqueline Zwambila said she fears her safety would be jeopardized if she returned to Zimbabwe after her term ends on Tuesday.

Mugabe won a disputed election in July amid allegations of widespread fraud.

Zwambila was recalled from her post after Mugabe won. She told Fairfax she has no intention of flying back to Zimbabwe as scheduled next week. She said she is worried about being detained indefinitely amid threats of arrest after a court in Zimbabwe found that she owed money to a tradesman. She denies that charge.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.