World Health Organization revokes appointment of Mugabe

World Health Organization revokes appointment of Mugabe

World Health Organization revokes appointment of Mugabe

The appointment "embarrasses" World Health Organization and its director, said Iain Levine, the deputy executive director for program for Human Rights Watch.

"I'm listening. I hear your concerns".

'Robert Mugabe fails in every way to represent the values World Health Organization should stand for'.

The unofficial response on Twitter was just as strong: "Who next, Kim Jong Un", quipped one person, referring to the despotic president of North Korea.

Britain said Mugabe's appointment was "surprising and disappointing" and added that it risked overshadowing the WHO's global work.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the United Nations health agency, had this week asked Zimbabwe's 93-year-old leader to serve in the role to help tackle non-communicable diseases like heart attacks, strokes and asthma across Africa. "We have had 37 disgusting years with Mugabe in power", Biti said.

He said: "I have reflected on my appointment of H.E. President Robert Mugabe as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for NCDs (Noncommunicable diseases) in Africa".

Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based group UN Watch described the choice by World Health Organization, a United Nations agency as "sickening".

Mugabe's removal as Goodwill Ambassador came following outrage among Western donors and rights groups at his appointment.

"The notion that the United Nations should now spin this country as a great supporter of health is, frankly, sickening", he said.

Dr Tedros, elected 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".

Britain called the decision "surprising and disappointing, particularly in light of the current U.S. and European Union sanctions against him".

David Fidler, a professor of global health law at Indiana University, assessed the possible fall out of the event on Saturday, when it became clear the WHO director-general might be about to walk back the controversial appointment. The country is also a major tobacco producer and exporter - something that critics cited as further evidence that Mugabe was a poor choice to advocate for solutions to conditions such as cancer and heart disease.

The MDC-T described the appointment as "laughable".

"The Zimbabwe health delivery system is in a shambolic state", Movement for Democratic Change spokesperson Obert Gutu told the AFP news agency. Over 4000 people died and health care under Mugabe's rule came under scrutiny. "He and his family go outside of the country for treatment in Singapore after he allowed our public hospitals to collapse".

Hillel Neuer, the executive director of United Nations Watch and a human rights activist wrote: "Shame on you, @WHO, for legitimizing brutal tyrant Mugabe, who devastated the health system of Zimbabwe & flies overseas for his health care".

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