Zimbabwe's Mr Ugly pageant turns ugly after runner-up accuses judges of bias

Zimbabwe's newly-crowned Mr Ugly Maison Sere.
Zimbabwe's newly-crowned Mr Ugly Maison Sere.PHOTO: AFP
Mr Sere celebrating his victory with members of the audience.
Mr Sere celebrating his victory with members of the audience.PHOTO: AFP
Contenders for Mr Ugly posing for the judging panel.
Contenders for Mr Ugly posing for the judging panel.PHOTO: AFP

HARARE (AFP) - A 42-year-old unemployed man was crowned Zimbabwe's ugliest man at a pub pageant in Harare - but the contest turned ugly when the runner-up accused judges of bias.

Mr Maison Sere, who was missing several teeth and dressed in torn overalls, beat off five other contestants for the US$500 (S$706) Mr Ugly prize - a large sum in a country facing massive unemploment.

"I want to thank God for winning this title, last time I came fourth. I just want to thank the judges for recognising me as the winner," Mr Sere told journalists during a night of festivities Friday attended by 200 revellers.

But Mr William Masvinu, a three-time Mr Ugly winner who walked off with a US$100 second prize this year, cried foul.

"The judges were not fair, the organisers must look for new judges to start the contest afresh. I did not lose today," Mr Masvinu said.

Show organiser David Machowa said he created the pageant in 2012 to celebrate "beauty in ugliness".

"The show last night was very successful, and I still have plans to host Mr Ugly world," he said.