Robert Mugabe removed as World Health Organization goodwill envoy for Africa

Robert Mugabe removed as World Health Organization goodwill envoy for Africa

The outcry rocketed around the world after this week's announcement and seemed centered around one primary point: Can you be a "goodwill ambassador" if the world widely regards you as a violent, tyrannical despot?

With Mugabe on hand, World Health Organization director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus told a conference in Uruguay this week on non-communicable diseases that he had agreed to be a "goodwill ambassador" on the issue.

Critics were particularly offended at the idea that Mugabe was appointed because of his contributions to public health given the collapse of Zimbabwe's healthcare system under his watch, along with the country's economy in recent years.

He is also facing USA sanctions over his government's frequent human rights abuses.

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".

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus while announcing the "sack" said "I have listened carefully to all who have expressed their concerns, and heard the different issues that they have raised".




A spokesman said the United Nations agency's decision was "surprising and disappointing" and risked "overshadowing work undertaken globally by the WHO".

Some global health leaders moved quickly to show support, commending the reversal.

Kenneth Roth, the head of Human Rights Watch, tweeted: 'Mugabe corruption decimates Zimbabwe health care'. "One result has been a cholera epidemic and the spread of other diseases".

Neuer further criticised Mugabe for travelling overseas for healthcare: "When Mugabe flies to Singapore for special medical treatment, he leaves behind poorly funded health services, which most of their citizens have to rely on". The cable said his physician urged him to step down from office to heal.

Ireland's health minister, Simon Harris, called the appointment "offensive, bizarre". It might therefore be surprising that he couldn't hold down a goodwill ambassadorial role for long following his ouster from the position after just four days; making him one of the briefest-serving World Health Organization goodwill ambassadors. Both Ricky Martin and Shakira have been goodwill ambassadors for UNICEF, for example. The ambassadors include former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, also for noncommunicable diseases.

But it is by no means a lifetime post. This appointment diminishes the role of a goodwill ambassador. The comic book heroine Wonder Woman was removed from her honorary United Nations ambassador job in December following protests that a white, skimpily dressed American prone to violence wasn't the best role model for girls.

Related Articles

  • Gujarat OBC leader Alpesh Thakore to join Congress

    Gujarat OBC leader Alpesh Thakore to join Congress

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi , the best bet for the ruling BJP will also be rushing to Gujarat on Sunday. The minimum age required for a person to contest an Assembly or Lok Sabha election in is 25.
    Texas city requires no Israel boycott for hurricane relief

    Texas city requires no Israel boycott for hurricane relief

    The law, which is similiar to laws in at least a dozen other states, took effect September 1. But then the application asks the applicant to pledge they won't boycott Israel.
    Linking bank accounts to Aadhaar mandatory, confirms RBI

    Linking bank accounts to Aadhaar mandatory, confirms RBI

    This is made under the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017. The Aadhaar number can be linked to the account number online, too.
  • Gas prices in Rhode Island down 2 cents this week

    Gas prices in Rhode Island down 2 cents this week

    The price of gas in Rhode Island is down two cents this week and continues to fall from its post-hurricane spike last month. It's 12 cents per gallon less than last month, and 15.2 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.
    Mersal row: BJP must respect free speech, says Congress

    Mersal row: BJP must respect free speech, says Congress

    The critics may not have liked the film as it is said to be a mish-mash of earlier hits like Kamal Haasan's Apoorva Sagodharagal . The controversial scene itself speaks about how the government has failed its people even after levying high amount of taxes.
    Spanish government meets to impose direct rule in rebel Catalonia

    Spanish government meets to impose direct rule in rebel Catalonia

    His comments were a veiled threat to push ahead with an independence declaration for the prosperous region in north-eastern Spain. The article allows central authorities to intervene when one of Spain's 17 autonomous regions fails to comply with the law.
  • Fallen soldier's widow: 'Nothing to say' to Trump

    Fallen soldier's widow: 'Nothing to say' to Trump

    The conflict continued Tuesday with Wilson criticizing the condolence call to Johnson. "I don't know what's in that box. The widow also said Trump was "stumbling on trying to remember" her husband's name, which made her "cry even more ".
    Marvel Teases New Look for Its Comic Book Thor Ahead of 'Ragnarok'

    Marvel Teases New Look for Its Comic Book Thor Ahead of 'Ragnarok'

    Tom Hiddleston's Loki is awesome too and I am so glad that they gave Idris Elba's Heimdall more to do in this time around. Thor : Ragnarok has been pitched as a Thor and Hulk buddy movie set in space and that sounds absolutely delightful.
    Lonzo Ball's second game was much, much better than his first

    Lonzo Ball's second game was much, much better than his first

    He only added one in the second half, but his distribution got better in the third quarter to make up for that. The 19-year-old UCLA product sat on the bench the entire fourth quarter as the Clippers pulled away.
  • MI  player flips off Penn State whiteout

    MI player flips off Penn State whiteout

    Saquon Barkley made a Heisman Trophy statement, and the Nittany Lions roar into a showdown at No. 6 Ohio State next Saturday. He took a direct snap and immediately cut into all the space he needed, outrunning the Wolverines for a huge 69-yard score.
    Evening Standard apologies for cropping Solange Knowles' braids in cover photo

    Evening Standard apologies for cropping Solange Knowles' braids in cover photo

    Solange poses with her hair in braids and a pair of statement pearl earrings and a white ruffled top in the photo. Sound off in the comment section below.
    Trump to allow release of thousands of JFK files by National Archives

    Trump to allow release of thousands of JFK files by National Archives

    During the campaign he suggested the father of rival Sen. "No reason 2 keep hidden anymore", Grassley tweeted earlier this month. Donald Trump intends to authorise the release of "classified" files relating to the assignation of 35th US President John F.