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World Health Organisation names Zimbabwe’s anti-gay leader as goodwill ambassador

By Ross Semple

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has just appointed Zimbabwe’s anti-gay leader as a goodwill ambassador.

Robert Mugabe, a fierce opposer of the LGBT community, has been the President of Zimbabwe since 1987 and previously claimed that homosexuality is a “filthy disease”.

He also threatened to cut gay people’s heads off, stated that Zimbabwe would “never” support homosexuality and said LGBT people should “rot in jail”.

The WHO’s director Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the shock announcement in a speech at a health conference on Wednesday (October 18), the Guardian reports.

In the speech, Adhanom claimed that Mugabe made a “commitment to mental health” and that, under his rule, Zimbabwe had become a country that “places universal health coverage and health promotion at the centre of its policies to provide health care to all.”

The move shocked the United Nations and several health bodies have voiced “shock and deep concern” over the decision, stating that Zimbabwe’s health care system, and many other public services, have collapsed under Mugabe’s regime.

However, Adhanom revealed yesterday (October 21) that he is now rethinking his decision to name Mugabe a goodwill ambassador after global outrage.

Taking to Twitter, Adhanom wrote: “I’m listening. I hear your concerns. Rethinking the approach in light of WHO values. I will issue a statement as soon as possible.”


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