WHO blunder exposes UN: President never told of appointment. . . Offer would have been turned down

President Mugabe

President Mugabe

Farirai Machivenyika, Harare Bureau
PRESIDENT Mugabe was not formally informed of his so-called appointment as WHO goodwill ambassador in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and would have rejected the invitation to take up the post as it is not in Zimbabwe’s national interest to do so.

This was said by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Mr George Charamba, who is also President Mugabe’s spokesperson.

Mr Charamba said this while responding to WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ decision to rescind the invitation following pressure from Western countries.

He said events over the weekend renewed debate on the need for reforms at the United Nations to ensure that it is representative of the views of countries in the world.

“The President was quite surprised that he had been appointed a goodwill ambassador by the WHO,” said Mr Charamba. “There was nothing, whether verbal or written, from the WHO intimating that WHO wished to make the President a goodwill ambassador in respect of NCDs.

“The President went to Uruguay to represent Zimbabwe as a member State of the UN and, under it, of the WHO, which is an agency of the UN. He did not go to Uruguay to accost anyone for any role, whether symbolic or real.

“The decision, if it was one, to designate the President of Zimbabwe as goodwill ambassador is something that he learnt about from the news; which news claimed this had been expressed at a press conference done by one of the WHO officials.

“For his entire stay in Uruguay, there was nothing that was intimated to him suggesting that designation, and, in any case, there is always a formal way of communicating with Heads of States and to date there is no such communication.

“What it means, therefore, is that the WHO cannot take back what it never gave in the first place, and as far as he is concerned, all this hullabaloo over a non-appointment is in fact a non-event, but a non-event which reflects a negative predisposition towards Zimbabwe.”

Mr Charamba said President Mugabe would not have taken up the position as it would have required him to campaign against growing and selling tobacco, which is Zimbabwe’s biggest foreign currency earner.

WHO has a definite position against growing and selling tobacco.

“As a matter of fact, had anything been put to the President in the direction of helping WHO by the way of being a goodwill ambassador, the President would have found such a request to be an awkward one,” said Mr Charamba.

“Lest it be forgotten that Zimbabwe is world-famed producer of tobacco, and for its Head of State to be seen to be playing goodwill ambassador in respect of an agency which has a well-defined stance on tobacco growing and tobacco selling, that would have been a contradiction.

“And, in any case, that would have injured Zimbabwe’s national interest. In other words, he was not going to oblige the invitation had it come his way anyway. His views in respect of Zimbabwe vis-a-vis the campaign which is WHO-led are well known.

“He does not believe that Zimbabwe, whose leading foreign currency earner (is tobacco), must stop from growing it for as long as; one, there are people who avidly smoke it and demand it; two, for as long as there are more sinful liquids that the rest of the world manufacture and sell to the world – liquids like whisky, the various brands of beers which in any event account for more deaths than just smoking.”

Mr Charamba said the WHO episode ignited debate on the need to reform the UN so that it fairly represented the interests of all nations, either big or small, around the world.

“What this latest furore, which is needless, has done is to bring, in very sharp relief, the nature of relationship that subsists between the UN as a world body and its agencies on the one hand and the Western world on the other,” he said.

“Let it not be forgotten that in the early 80s, in the context of the New World Economic Order, as well as its economic variant, New World Information and Communication Order, debate on one of the agencies of the UN – namely UNESCO – fell foul to a comparable arbitrariness on the part of Western powers, because UNESCO sought to carry the word of the global underdog.

“And I notice that UNESCO is again in the news this time around in respect of its decision to admit the Palestinian authority as a full member, which decision appears not welcome to certain big powers in the Western hemisphere.”

Mr Charamba said there was a need to interrogate the skewed power relations between institutions that were supposed to represent the world and powerful Western countries.

“As a matter of principle, Zimbabwe and its Head of State do have the right, as any other human being and any other member country of UN, of promoting and furthering the agenda of UN and its agencies,” he said.

“To try and turn resentment of certain policies that a country or a leader has in the interest of his people, to turn that into an operating ethic, suggests the UN is not a world body and that instead is a façade of arbitrary policies of stronger powers – and is unacceptable to Zimbabwe, as it is indeed to many other progressive countries.

“That is precisely why Zimbabwe has been in the forefront of espousing the African position, the Ezulwini Consensus, calling for the restructuring of the UN Security Council; in fact, for a new structure which is subordinated or accounts to the General Assembly, which is much more representative.

“So, what this does is bring a new tenure to the debate about the role of UN and agencies in world affairs, instead of throwing any light on the character of the President.”

WHO, said Mr Charamba, which seems to have no say in the running of the inter-governmental organisation, had bowed to pressure from Western-backed organisations masquerading as NGOs.

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  • Fetakgomo

    The Who debacle proves that this organization is money making scheme for the corrupt and should be scrapped.

    • makhosi


      • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

        And you’re the paragon of wisdom are you? Get a grip.

  • Cetshwayo kaGodlwayo

    Mgabe has killed people, he has destroyed the country’s health system with his misrule he did not deserve this ambassador thing, usathane owaswela impondo nje loyo

  • ME

    This is just silly, this Charamba guy must be smoking some really strong stuff.

    • Pilato

      Thanks Me for giving us the link let him comment ,because the evidence is there for everyone to see

  • Zanu

    You think you fucken smart \ mgodoyi

  • BonzoReChihuta

    We’ve had our laugh already, George. Too late!

    • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

      This sounds depressing.

  • Kachembere kekwaChivi

    You can fool some people sometimes, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. Govt owns this paper and there is no way the paper could publish the story about the appointment without govt knowledge/approval. When one has opened their mouth wide to throw in a strawberry and its snatched away…………….eish!

  • peace maker

    Charamba’s response is at variance with Dr Muzembi’s which was carried in yesterday’s issues. Muzembi said the president had accepted the rescission and respected the decision by WHO. He further said that the president would continue his campaign on the NCDs. It appears Charamba is now trying to fool the world that Mugabe was not interested.

    • zibulo

      mzembi has just been reshuiffled, this time he will be reshuffled out , and not re-deployed !!! watch space, he failed to spin truth to be lies, like Charamba !!!

  • Brutal Truth

    Poor Charamba,nobody cares about those minor things.The bottom line is that the initial appointment came with so much noise & excitement from Zimbabwean State Media & the rescission came with even louder noise & excitement & this time on International media.The Chief shuffler was shuffled quick & fast.One of the best things to have happened this year

    • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

      This is the least helpful comment I‘ve ever read.

      • Brutal Truth

        & you took time to respond?

        • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

          it kinda reads like you have anxiety issues anyway

          • Brutal Truth

            Ooooh so now you’re psychic???

          • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

            Then you have a very limited imagination. I guess nobody knows about desires that never materialize more than you.

          • Brutal Truth

            Maybe…!but certainly not as limited as your intellectual capacity appears to be

          • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

            I’m sure there’s a name for this psychological condition…

      • Nkunzemnyama

        Sewu tshintshe ibizo wena swina-ndini.

        • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

          People like looking at other people. It’s the same impulse that sells glossy magazines.

  • musa

    joji trying & awkwardly failing to be a spin doctor. why is joji silent on walter’s comments when the position was initially announced? you are not fooling me joji.

    • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

      What a petty and immature pair. You’re better off single, the both of you. Your and your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend!!

      • Cetshwayo kaGodlwayo

        Uyinja enjani kahle kahle wena slima, alikho iNdebele elisaphotha uMgabe ledoti yakhe yonke….kutsho ukuthi wena nja awulona iNdebele…yeka ukungcolisa abantu bakithi sies

        • neighbour

          ayisilo Ndebele khangela isibongo njalo uyadla phela lo kuZANU uyasutha

          • Siwaphiwe Nampie Mpafa

            How about Jonathan Moyo, Obert Mpofu , Khayamoyo, Sikhosana are those Shona as well??

          • Cetshwayo kaGodlwayo

            You support Zanu when u have been paid to do so, no Ndebele person in their real senses will support a part that has caused the suffering of my people. Jonah, Mpofu, Moyo are well paid and they will refuse all the previldges they are getting. We call them “political prost£tutes” they sold their souls to the devil for a large sums of money

          • Cetshwayo kaGodlwayo

            “they will not refuse the previlges”

          • zibulo

            During the Matebele/Anglo wars that happened here long back, who was on the side of the colonialist ??? Even abathengisi whom we had in the liberation war later on were there , blacks , selloiuts, just like we have the Oberts, Khayas , etc, nawaday sellouts .

      • musa

        you do get off trolling me hey?

        • Vince Gatsheni Mdluli

          I wouldn’t call it trolling, maybe he just doesn’t tolerate bullcrap. Sort of has a phobia for vomit.

          • musa

            really? s/he always has a senseless answer to my comments. reminds me of Jotham

          • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

            Get rid of the notion that getting into a relationship must somehow be the prime goal.

          • musa

            I think you will scare me off too. don’t have time for trolls

          • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

            Do Little also went down fighting so go ahead try it, I’m used to it.

  • God of War

    This is a joke. Mugabe went there so that he could get that award and now he is bitter that it was taken from him. He is a stupid old man who just wants to get awards while his country burns. I’m glad that WHO caved in to pressure from progressive people and took the award. Idiot Mugabe and your bustard supporters.

  • MakhosiXamu

    WHO is an appendage of the USA and the the Pink thugs of Europe and therefore their sLAVES, SHAME

    • zibulo

      rising to the occassion , skhotha shlama !!! kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk, did they remind you to wake up , sleeping on duty , hehhh??

    • aussiemigrant

      zanurrrslicker and apologist..how many people have you swindled and looted

  • Mkhusto

    Ungacatshi ngomunwe izinto azihambikahle. Yekela khulu. Kuqale ngabantwana kwathi umkakho khathesi nguwe. Kuhlola ukuthi tshiya phansi khulu ngokuthula. Usibulalele ilizwe

  • makhosi

    You can’t fool all the people all the time.

    • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

      What a pig ignorant inference to make.

  • Guest

    Who is controlled by Pink thugs of USA and Europe and what they did proved their hostility to our nation. Lets take few remaining farms from these people to show them that we mean business

  • benjamin

    kwah kwah kwaaah kwaa kwaaaaaHHHH… Chronicle, please don’t sacrifice your credibility by bootlicking of this magnitude…

    He should just admit things ended up not working in his favour and move on. We all know its a role he would have been extremely proud to hold.

  • Zarura Zimbabgwe

    What about!?


    Fake news. How many heads of states where there? Why did he go there?

    • neighbour

      Him alone

  • Mabuza

    The WHO’s behaviour is questionable for an organisation of its stature, they should have anticipated an uproar from their financiers.
    Charamba makes noteworthy arguments, it is his serial and monumental plot twisting that baffles me most, a quality shared by Jonathan and Chris ( the garrulous trio)

  • qondani

    Umhambaphansi lowu doesn’t deserve anything

    • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

      Oh wow! Your a glass half empty person!

  • mr.p

    Its so silly that this same publication screamed that president appointed…… where had they gotten it from.
    This is poor reporting

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    • Gus

      lol…a little advise, best things in life dont come for free, so work, no lotto. and never force another person to love you through your juju.

  • Gus

    This is just hogwash

  • Chipoto Vhaivhai

    Go ahead and grab the few remaining farms and see if WHO and the West care. It is your people who will continue suffering as they are presently. What developments have you made in the many farms that you grabbed? Basa nderokuvhima mhuka nekutema huni muchitengesa instead of tilling the land. You are a bloody fool Guest.

  • Angry Zimbo

    Just stop this nonsense Chronicle please, we all know the truth. Bitter angry politicians trying to cover their backs.

  • Nkunzemnyama

    kkkkkkkk yaaaaaaa this z.a.n.u newspaper? Who do you think you are FOOLING.You reported yesterday that he had been appointed,,,,,now that the appointment was withdrawn , you refer to it as a ‘so called’ appointment. Shame shame !!

    • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

      You’re an expert based on what?

  • chinos

    Stop the globetrotting for whimsical reasons

  • Mkhusto

    Infact it’s Mgabe and his government who have been exposed

  • Idiot

    Little Bob, the only one head of state to shuffle over there. Now egg all over his wrinkles. And Jojo be careful about rubbishing alcoholic beverages. Delta, the mainstay of the economy dell’s that.

  • mutare

    Big lie.Trying to console himself.He was informed.

  • Mthwakazi Wabantu

    That’s a lie. He was told and congratulated while over there. WHO overturned its decision following a global outcry. You are just saying that to save face.