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Robert Mugabe named goodwill ambassador by WHO

WHO has faced criticism after naming Zimbabwe president Mugabe as goodwill ambassador

Staff Reporter
21 October 2017, 1:58pm
Who name Mugabe as goodwill ambassador
Who name Mugabe as goodwill ambassador

The World Health Organization (WHO) has appointed Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe as a "goodwill ambassador" to help tackle non-communicable diseases.

The WHO's new director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the country for 'placing universal health coverage and health promotion at the centre of its policies to provide health care to all".

This decision has faced fierce criticism as Zimbabwe's opposition said that appointing Mugabe as a WHO goodwill ambassador is "laughable" and an "insult".

US-based campaign group Human Rights Watch called it an “embarrassment” to give the ambassador role to Mugabe given his human rights record.

Critics said that Zimbabwe's health care system has collapsed under Mugabe, with staff being underpaid and medicines in short supply.

 “Mugabe himself travels abroad for his health care. He's been to Singapore three times this year already. His senior officials go to South Africa for their health care.” Said executive director Kenneth Roth.

The idea of hailing Mr Mugabe "as any kind of example of positive contribution to health care is absolutely absurd", he added.

In a statement criticising WHO’s choice, Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based group UN Watch said, “The government of Robert Mugabe has brutalized human rights activists, crushed democracy dissidents, and turned the breadbasket of Africa — and its health system — into a basket-case.”