World Health Organization cancels Robert Mugabe ambassador role

Scholaships Minister Christopher Mushohwe

Scholaships Minister Christopher Mushohwe

The World Health Organization has removed the Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, as a goodwill ambassador following outrage among donors and rights groups at his appointment.

Dr. Tedros appointed Mr. Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador on noncommunicable diseases for Africa Oct. 18, stating he was "honored" Mr. Mugabe agreed to serve in the position, according to STAT News.

"I have also consulted with the government of Zimbabwe and we have concluded that this decision is in the best interests of the World Health Organization".

Mr Tedros, elected in May under the slogan "let's prove the impossible is possible" had said he hoped Mr Mugabe would use his goodwill ambassador role to "influence his peers in the region".

A statement by the WHO chief, Tedros Ghebreyesus said he had rescinded the appointment of Mugabe after flood of outrage and concerns voiced by worldwide leaders and health experts.

In announcing the appointment, Tedros had praised Zimbabwe as a country that places universal health coverage and health promotion at the centre of its policies to provide health care to all.

Mr. Mugabe's appointment was met with significant opposition from a number of high-profile organizations, including the United Kingdom government, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and various Zimbabwean citizens, according to BBC News.

That claim was widely blasted by critics, who noted that the 93-year-old and increasingly frail Mugabe travels overseas for his own medical needs, calling that a sign of the devastation he has wrought on Zimbabwe's health system.

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