Zimbabwe’s long-standing president Robert Mugabe has been sworn in once again after being declared the winner of Friday’s presidential run-off.
Ignoring growing condemnation from the international community as well as from his own neighbours, Mugabe himself declared victory a day after the ballot in which he was the sole candidate.
His rival, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai – who won the first round of the presidential election -pulled out of the race last week because of government-backed violence which he said has killed at least 90 of his supporters.
Once hailed as a champion of democracy, 84-year old Mugabe is now described as a dictator by critics, who accuse him of ruining his once prosperous country.
Inflation is the highest in the world and millions of Zimbabweans suffer from poverty.
Journalist Heidi Holland, who has written a biography of Mugabe, said:
“I think he lives in the world in a mad kind of way, but I think it’s deliberate, I think he is in denial. I think he can’t face what he has done in Zimbabwe because that isn’t what he intented to do. He did genuinely, I think, want to be the saviour of his people, the liberator of an oppressed nation.”
Official figures show Mugabe won with more than 85 percent of the vote, which foreign observers have denounced as neither free nor fair.