Thursday, 11 August, 2022
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Zimbabwe says WHO is the 'biggest loser'

The Zimbabwean government has said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) was the "biggest loser" following its decision to revoke the appointment of President Robert Mugabe as its goodwill ambassador for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Africa.

Polity reports that the nonagenarian's appointment was, however, met with shock and condemnation by health officials and countries, including the US, which sanctioned Mugabe more than a decade ago over his government's human rights abuses.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had made the decision to rescind Mugabe's appointment after listening to the flood of outrage and concerns voiced by international leaders and health experts. He said he revoked Mugabe's position in the best interests of WHO.

But, according to Zimbabwe's state-owned broadcaster ZBC, Minister of Foreign Affairs Walter Mzembi said that although Zimbabwe respected the WHO's decision, "the global body is the biggest loser". "The inordinate noise around the designation of the President (Mugabe) as WHO global ambassador for Africa does not assist the cause in the first place. If anything, it is WHO that has benefited tremendously from its decision in nominating President Mugabe to lead the fight against NCDs through media amplification of WHO itself, and curiosity by the general public on what really are NCDs, by tagging the name Mugabe to the debate.

"On a name recognition scale, this name beats them all, but it is our business to protect its brand equity from unnecessary besmirching," Mzembi was quoted as saying.

The report says meanwhile, according to New, Mugabe's "embarrassing" stripping of the WHO post had many in Zimbabwe celebrating, with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change spokesperson Obert Gutu saying that the UN health agent had "finally seen some sense".

[link url=""]Polity report[/link]

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