Robert Mugabe has been the repressive dictator of Zimbabwe since December 31, 1987. He violently oppresses anyone who opposes his government. He has cracked down on dissidents and violently seized farms from white (and many black) farm owners - seizures that led to much of the land becoming desolate as those who took the land knew about guns, not farming. A black nationalist, he eventually established one-party rule in his country, becoming Executive President of Zimbabwe in 1987.
In his 27 years in power, he has gone from the poster boy for the "New Africa", ruled by educated, democratic leaders, to the bottom of the heap. Under his rule the health and well-being of his people have dropped dramatically, with his arbitrary arrests and torture of anyone considered to be an opponent. According to the World Health Organization, Zimbabwe has the world’s shortest life expectancy - 37 years for men and 34 for women. It also has the greatest percentage of orphans, about 25%, says UNICEF, and the worst annual inflation rate. Mugabe last won a "free" election in 2002 but “won” only after having his leading opponent arrested for treason. Mugabe attempted to oust Morgan Tsvangirai from the political scene in 2008, however he failed and Mugabe lost to Tsvangirai, but refused to step down.