Choice of Mugabe as goodwill WHO envoy shocks, baffles

UNITED NATIONS (UNTV) – The World Health Organisation (WHO) should overturn its decision to appoint of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador, global health leaders said on Saturday (October 21), describing the move as unjustifiable and wrong.

The British government said Mugabe’s appointment was “surprising and disappointing” and added that it risked overshadowing the WHO’s global work.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the appointment at a high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Uruguay on Wednesday.

The meeting was attended by Mugabe, 93. He is blamed in the West for destroying his country’s economy and numerous human rights abuses during his 37 years leading the country as either president or prime minister.

In a speech, Tedros 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”.

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