Zimbabwe's three-times Mr Ugly winner William Masvinu poses for a photo in Harare. Pageant judges have crowned a new winner of Zimbabwes 4th annual Mister Ugly contest, upsetting supporters of the crowd favorite and prompting rioting at the event. File photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Harare - 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.

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

“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,” Sere told journalists during a night of festivities on Friday attended by 200 revellers.

But William Masvinu, a three-time Mr Ugly winner who walked off with a $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,” Masvinu said.

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

“The show on Friday night was very successful, and I still have plans to host Mr Ugly world,” he said.

AFP