Position: President of Zimbabwe
Time in Power: 30 years
The son of a village carpenter, Mugabe's mug has been among the most frequently seen faces on the nightly international news. During the Rhodesian now Zimbabwe civil war he was joint leader of the Patriotic Front, the group opposing the oft-discriminatory rule of the white government. At the end of the war, Mugabe's party, ZANU-PF, won a landslide victory in the British-supervised parliamentary elections in February 1980. However, Mugabe, who is often described as a Marxist, eventually established one-party rule in his country, becoming executive president of Zimbabwe in 1987; his rule would garner notoriety for its repressive violence. Poverty and unemployment led to increased support for Morgan Tsvangirai and his opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change, which in late 2008 agreed to share power with the Mugabe regime.