• STV
  • MySTV

World Health Organisation drops Mugabe as ambassador

The Zimbabwean president had been appointed as a 'goodwill ambassador'.

Robert Mugabe speaks at the United Nations in New York.
Robert Mugabe speaks at the United Nations in New York. PA

The World Health Organization is rescinded its appointment of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe as a "goodwill ambassador" following widespread shock and condemnation.

WHO gave Mugabe the role claiming the 93-year-old leader had made a "commitment to public health".

But the organisation's director general Tedros Ghebreyesus was forced into an embarrassing backtrack on Sunday due to outcry over the choice.

"I have listened carefully to all who have expressed their concerns, and heard the different issues that they have raised," Mr Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

"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.

"I thank everyone who has voiced their concerns and shared their thoughts. I depend on constructive debate to help and inform the work I have been elected to do."

Mugabe with his wife First Lady Grace Mugabe
Mugabe with his wife First Lady Grace Mugabe AP

Mr Tedros, an Ethiopian who became the WHO's first African director-general this year, had said Mugabe could use his role "to influence his peers in the region".

He had claimed Zimbabwe was "a country that places universal health coverage and health promotion at the centre of its policies to provide healthcare to all".

But despite once being known as the breadbasket of southern Africa, in 2008 a charity released a report documenting failures in Zimbabwe's health system and blamed Mugabe for policies that led to a man-made crisis.

Physicians for Human Rights found his government had "presided over the dramatic reversal of its population's access to food, clean water, basic sanitation and health care".

It went on: "The Mugabe regime has used any means at its disposal, including politicising the health sector, to maintain its hold on power."

Downing Street said it had raised concerns with WHO calling Mugabe's appointment "surprising and disappointing particularly in light of the current US and EU sanctions against him".

The US called the appointment disappointing.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.