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Thursday, 14 March, 2002, 14:53 GMT
Zimbabwe election diary - After the results
The BBC's Grant Ferrett
The BBC's Grant Ferrett is reporting on the Zimbabwe elections from Beitbridge, on the South African-Zimbabwe border - since the BBC is banned from reporting in Zimbabwe itself:


Thursday 14 March

A cool, late start.

Drive into the "office" at 0545 this morning.

Trucks are already lining up, waiting to head north across the bridge to Zimbabwe.

Perhaps some of them contain food for the half-a-million Zimbabweans facing severe shortages.

No response yet from the election winner, Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

Commonwealth comes out with a surprisingly stern judgement, though: "There was not a free expression of will by the electorate."

President Mugabe
Mugabe: No response yet
Friend calls from Harare to thank the BBC for its extensive coverage of the elections. Asks how long we'll be staying.

Embarrassed to admit that we've already started packing up.

The air conditioning has also packed up. The power in the portacabin shuts down every time we turn it on, so here we all are, melting.

I'm sure it's hotter inside than out.

The story about a cobra in Gavin Hewitt's bathroom turns out to have been true.

Being a TV person, he made sure there was a cameraman on hand to film it.

In the absence of comment from President Mugabe, we'll just have to suffice with his reaction to an earlier poll.

Here's what he said in February 2000, shortly after being defeated in a referendum on a new constitution:

"Especially remarkable was the rare sense of order, maturity and tolerance during the process. The world now knows Zimbabwe as that country where opposing views can file so singly and peacefully to and from the booth without incident."

The government-backed invasions of white-owned farms began a few days later, followed by two years of intimidation of the opposition.

What next?

   Results day


Grant Ferrett is a former BBC Zimbabwe correspondent.

Key stories

The vote

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