The head of Zimbabwe's electoral commission has denied she is in a sexual relationship with one of the country's 23 presidential candidates, an allegation that had raised questions over her impartiality.
In a live interview with Harare-based radio station Capitalk Priscilla Chigumba said: "I am not in any sexual relationship or any relationship whatsoever which has the potential or is likely to jeopardise my ability to discharge my functions."
She told presenter Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa: "To answer you very expressly: I am not in a sexual relationship with a presidential candidate."
Earlier, former Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi tweeted that Chigumba should resign because of "a private sexual relationship" that hindered her neutrality as head of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
See tweets below
After Chigumba's denial, Kudzayi persisted with his allegations, alleging Chigumba was in a relationship with a married member of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's cabinet.
He has vowed to publish a full story on Wednesday.
With elections just two weeks away, Chigumba has come under fire from opposition supporters for failing to ensure transparency over the commission's work. Public anger against her mounted late last week after it was alleged that police officers in Bulawayo had been forced to vote in front of their commanding officers.
But in Monday's radio interview Chigumba said her commission had received no complaints from any police officer being forced to vote openly. She defended herself against her critics saying: "I must balance being nice, being liked and simply telling the truth."
Justice Chigumba must resign from her position at ZEC.— Edmund Kudzayi (@EdmundKudzayi) July 16, 2018
While her privacy must ordinarily be respected, there is a strong public interest argument in this instance where a private sexual relationship fetters the discretion of a judge.
I will publish the full story on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/m3ByRkWmkR
Your first question must have been: Edmund do you have evidence to support these allegations? I do.— Edmund Kudzayi (@EdmundKudzayi) July 16, 2018
Anywhere on earth this is serious stuff. You can’t have a referee having sex with one of the players and you say let’s respect their privacy.
Her being a woman is irrelevant.
Chigumba is telling the truth that she is not in a relationship with a presidential candidate. I never mentioned a “presidential” candidate. Her lover is a married cabinet minister. Let’s talk on Wednesday tipedze nyaya yacho. https://t.co/FduVGpyMAY— Edmund Kudzayi (@EdmundKudzayi) July 16, 2018