Presidential elections were held in Zimbabwe between 9 and 11 March 2002. The elections were contested by the incumbent president Robert Mugabe, Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai, ZANU–Ndonga leader Wilson Kumbula, Shakespeare Maya of the National Alliance for Good Governance and independent candidate Paul Siwela. Although Mugabe won with 56.2% of the vote, it was the closest presidential election to date. Although the Organisation of African Unity described the election as "transparent, credible, free and fair", the conduct of the election was strongly condemned by the Commonwealth, Norwegian observers, Zimbabwean opposition figures, and Western governments and media. Zimbabwe was consequently suspended from the Commonwealth for a year. The Khampepe Report, commissioned by South African president Thabo Mbeki, was commissioned at the time to investigate the fairness of the elections.
2002 Zimbabwean presidential election
The report said : However, having regard to all the circumstances, and in particular the cumulative substantial departures from international standards of free and fair elections found in Zimbabwe during the pre-election period, these elections, in our view, cannot be considered to be free and fair. This report was not released publicly for 12 years, after a lengthy legal battle by the Mail & Guardian.
Mugabe was sworn in for another term by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku on 17 March 2002 at State House in Harare.