Robert Mugabe has brought Zimbabwe's economy to its knees. His ill advised land reform programme- whereby productive land was seized from white farmers and redistributed to party hacks- has created an agricultural waste land.
Hunger is widespread. Foreign exchange earnings have collapsed. The tourist industry has been destroyed. Mugabe is a powerful exponent of loony bin economics. This has created a 5,000% annual rate of inflation. He is a strong believer in printing money. A loaf of bread bought today is about 50 times more expensive - in cash terms - than it was a year ago. Power cuts and petrol shortages are regular occurrences. The unemployment rate is 80%.
The regime has instituted a reign of terror against political opponents.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was beaten and tortured The flight into exile of up to three million Zimbabweans - almost a quarter of the population - has sapped the strength of the opposition.
The regime has systematically intimidated the judiciary. The media is censored. The international community has largely ignored the crisis. Neighbouring African States have adopted a Pontius Pilate attitude.
The regime's dirty tricks brigade seeks to frame and smear opponents.
Mugabe has bitterly attacked the Catholic Church. Pius Ncube, the archbishop of Bulawayo is a strong opponent of Mugabe. He was forced to resign over adultery allegations. It is believed that these are false and that the archbishop has been framed.
Mugabe has agreed to shed some of his powers in talks between his party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), however he has begun tighten his hold on his own party ZANU PF, ahead of a special congress where he will seek to crush factions vying to block his candidacy for the presidency. It was believed in some quarters that Mugabe would retire when his present term expired.