Presidential spokesperson George Charamba says the whole story of the World Health Organisation (WHO) rescinding its goodwill ambassadorial appointment to President Robert Mugabe is a non event because the President was never appointed to be a goodwill ambassador of the UN agency.
This is in sharp contrast to the Foreign Affairs Minister Muzembi who last week told this publication the appointment was a diplomatic coup for Mugabe.
“Good news !
I was lobbying for the President to be appointed WHO Global Ambassador, AFRICA for NCDs. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO has just announced this during the Presidental Forum. This is a major health diplomacy coup for Zimbabwe”, said Mzembi last Wednesday
In an interview with ZBC News in Harare yesterday, Charamba said nothing was ever communicated to the President and the whole furore about the WHO rescinding the appointment is a nullity.
Charamba said there is a formality that has to be followed when one is appointed by an agency of the United Nations and none of that was ever followed in the non-existent appointment that has been awash in the media.
The Presidential spokesperson said the whole saga is a creation of the non-governmental organisations that do not like Cde Mugabe.
Charamba who spoke to the President this afternoon said Cde Mugabe said even if he had been requested to be goodwill ambassador for the WHO, he would not have taken the offer because the UN agency is at the forefront of the anti-tobacco lobby.
Zimbabwe is a leading producer of the golden leaf which is a major foreign currency earner for the country.
Charamba went on to explain that there is no way that non-governmental organisations could have influenced the decision on the so called rescinding of the ambassadorial position as the NGOs have no platform to vote or veto like the intergovernmental UN body.-ZBC