WHO rescinds Mugabe goodwill role

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Zimbabwe's President Robert Gabriel Mugabe addresses the U.N. General Assembly at the United Nations on September 21, 2017 in New York, New York

GENEVA/JOHANNESBURG – The World Health Organisation (WHO) has rescinded the appointment of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador.

The revelation was made in a statement on Sunday following widespread criticism.

“Over the last few days, I have reflected on my appointment of President Robert Mugabe as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for NCDs in Africa. As a result, I have decided to rescind the appointment,” the WHO director general said in a statement.

READ: WHO chief &39;rethinking&39; after Mugabe honour outrage

Activists, public health experts and key WHO donors like Britain, Canada and the United States have denounced a prospective role for Mugabe within the agency, saying Zimbabwe&39;s healthcare system has collapsed under his 37-year rule.

The controversial 93-year-old statesman was also criticised by Canada’s prime minister.

READ: Mugabe WHO appointment &39;unacceptable&39;, says Canada PM

The US ambassador to the United Nations during Barack Obama&39;s administration, Samantha Power, tweeted: "The only person whose health 93-yo Mugabe has looked out for in his 37 year reign is his own."

READ: UN draws flak after naming Mugabe goodwill ambassador