The head of the World Health Organization revoked his appointment of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe as a “goodwill ambassador” on Sunday after the choice drew widespread outrage and criticism. Zimbabwe’s government said it respected the turnabout and that the U.N. health agency “benefited tremendously” from the attention.
WHO director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus last week told a conference in Uruguay on non-communicable diseases that Mugabe, who was present, had agreed to be a “goodwill ambassador” on the issue.
After the outcry by international leaders and health experts, Tedros said in a statement that he had reflected and decided to change his mind, calling it in the best interests of the U.N. health agency. Tedros said he had consulted with the Zimbabwe government about his decision.
This is a pretty interesting pick from the World Health Organization. Now, why would there be so much pushback in regards to Mr. Ghebreyesus’s choice? Here are some interesting tidbits of information on Mugabe’s rule from 1980 to the present as noted by the Atlantic and the Economist:
1 – Mr. Mugabe initially inherited a country rich in natural resources and booming economy thanks to the agricultural sector. Currently about 72% of citizens live in poverty
2 – Mugabe’s forces ordered his forces to carry out a gukurahundi, or “ethnic cleansing” of the Ndebele people. Casualties are estimated to be around 25,000 people.
3 – He encouraged violent take-overs of white owned farms and gave the farms to inexperienced individuals with connections to Mugabe, leading to the farms failing and further destroying the economy.
4 – He significantly increased money printing and instituted price controls, leading to hyper inflation which went as high as 231,000,000% in 2008. This led to the creation of Zimbabwe’s 1 Trillion dollar bill, which was worth about 40 cents by the time the bill was retired. Mr. Mugabe’s economic policies are referred to by some as “Mugabenomics”.
Finally, here are some feel good quotes from Mr Mugabe:
“I am still the Hitler of the time. This Hitler has only one objective: justice for his people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people and their rights over their resources. If that is Hitler, then let me be Hitler tenfold. Ten times, that is what we stand for”.
“The only white man you can trust is a dead white man”.
“We ask, was he born out of homosexuality? We need continuity in our race, and that comes from the woman, and no to homosexuality. John and John, no; Maria and Maria, no. They are worse than dogs and pigs. I keep pigs and the male pig knows the female one”.
“Our party must continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man, our real enemy”.