Back in March, when the first round of voting took place, he was humiliated by being beaten into second place in the presidential race, and by losing the parliamentary election outright.
Now he's the sole effective candidate in Friday's presidential run-off, and he cannot fail to win with an overwhelming majority.His opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai, has been completely . The outside world, which mostly sympathises with him, can do nothing whatever to help him.
'When someone with the power of the Zimbabwean state at their disposal uses it to simply brutalise the opposition then 'outmanoeuvred' is hardly the right phrase. The 'victory' isn't a testament to Mugabe's cunning, given the massive odds in his favour it is hard to imagine how he could have done worse than losing control of parliament, pushing even his African co-leaders into condemning him and having to admit to losing the first round of voting.
Update: Daniel Finkelstein noticed the same report and also found it sinister.