The Zimbabwean government has officially responded to the revocation of a goodwill ambassador post conferred on President Robert Mugabe by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Foreign Affairs minister, Wlater Mzembi, told the state broadcaster, ZBC, that WHO was the biggest loser with its latest decision because Mugabe’s personality had led to tremendously benefited the global health outfit.
“On a name-recognition scale this name (Mugabe) beats them all, but it is our business to protect its brand equity from unnecessary besmirching, so on the balance, it is wiser to let go,” he said.
For me, what is important is to build political leadership and create unity around bringing health to all, based on WHO’s core values.
The WHO late last week named the 93-year-old leader as its ambassador for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The move drew widespread condemnation by health officials and countries amongst others, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
A statement by the WHO chief, Tedros Ghebreyesus said he had rescinded the appointment of Mugabe after flood of outrage and concerns voiced by international leaders and health experts.
“I have listened carefully to all who have expressed their concerns, and heard the different issues that they have raised. 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.
“It is my aim to build a worldwide movement for global health. This movement must work for everyone and include everyone.
“For me, what is important is to build political leadership and create unity around bringing health to all, based on WHO’s core values,” his statement read in part.