The World Health Organization (WHO) has canceled Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s appointment as a goodwill ambassador.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros shared his statement on Sunday afternoon announcing the rescission of Mugabe’s appointment.
Dr. Tedros said, “Over the last few days, I have reflected on my appointment of H.E. President Robert Mugabe as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for NCDs in Africa. As a result, I have decided to rescind the appointment.”
“I have listened carefully to all who have expressed their concerns and heard the different issues that they have raised. 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.”
Mugabe’s appointment drew huge international outcry. The director of the Global Health Institute at Harvard University, Ashish K. Jha, told AFP in an email, “The Mugabe appointment, coming at the end of [Tedros’s] first 100 days, was a misstep.”
Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, tweeted: “Tedros will surely revoke terrible apptmt of Mugabe as goodwill ambassador, but damage is done. The only person whose health 93-yo Mugabe has looked out for in his 37 year reign is his own.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) was under fierce criticism after its Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom planned to appoint the President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe as a WHO goodwill ambassador.
Under criticism, earlier the WHO head said he was planning to rethink the plan of Mugabe’s goodwill ambassadorship.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom, a former Ethiopian politician, earlier informed the news of Mugabe’s appointment as a goodwill ambassador and praised his country’s (Zimbabwe) commitment to public health.
The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the WHO decision made him think “it was a bad April Fool’s joke.”
The U.S. State Department said it “clearly contradicts the United Nations ideals of respect for human rights and human dignity.”
The UK government also condemned the WHO decision as “surprising and disappointing.”
The critics of Mugabe have criticized the WHO move. The social media users accused the WHO of sponsoring a leader who has frequently been accused of violating the human rights.
His political opponents accused him of collapsing the healthcare system of Zimbabwe under his long tenure.
The medical staffs in Zimbabwe often allege of going without pay and short medical supplies.
The average life expectancy of Zimbabwe is 59 years. Zimbabwe’s President has outlived the average life expectancy of his country by more than 30 years.
He is often seen to visit Singapore for medical purposes while his country’s medical system collapses, his political critics accuse.