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The global health community is struggling to make sense of a blunder that has shaken confidence in the new director-general of the World Health Organization and given rise to concerns — both outside and within the WHO — about the impact the episode will have on the credibility of the agency he leads.

Mere days after hitting the 100-day mark of his first term in the office, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus appointed Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to a ceremonial position of honor, naming the longtime authoritarian as a WHO goodwill ambassador for noncommunicable diseases.


Four days later, under intense international pressure, Tedros — who goes by his first name — withdrew the appointment.

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  • Its clear that, the dictators elect the dictator!! Tewdros is not deserved to rule WHO, may be you have elected him without knowing what he was done in Ethiopia. He was among top corruptor and human right violator in Ethiopia. So am not surprised for appointing Mugabe because

  • We Ethiopians has been campaigning from the very beginning Dr Tewodros Adehanom not to be considered to the WHO post as he has blood on his hand with the present regim.
    I’m happy that you get the lesson now. We Ethiopian’s still suggest this brutal person to be removed, fired and replaced by some one immediately before he enffects the organization. The more he stays on the post the more he misplaces the society of WHO which you can judge him from his start.

  • Dr. Tedros to appoint Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador is like Amnesty International to recommend Hitler to The Norwegian Nobel Committee to award him the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Dr. Tedros must resign from his position ASAP!!!!!

  • An investigation into this matter will, I predict, reveal significant cronyism, corruption and incompetence. Dr Tedros was a key decision-maker in the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the party that has run Ethiopia’s government for 26 years. Ethiopia is in the midst of a growing crisis, thanks to Tedros and his TPLF “comrades.” Oppression, harassment, torture, jailing, state-sanctioned killings are commonplace, along with ethnic favouritism and ethnic cleansing. Tedros and Mugabe have similar mindsets and Mugabe would be a natural candidate for Tedros to choose as “goodwill ambassador.” Tens of thousands of Ethiopians, Ethiopian diaspora who fled persecution and torture, among others, voiced their opposition to Tedros becoming WHO DG, but their please were ignored. I received death threats for criticizing Tedros in the medical journal, Lancet, and in an internet post, but I stand by my objections to the WHO DG, and we have not heard the last of the mismanagement and blunders of the WHO DG.

  • As someone who worked abroad many decades ago under the auspices of several International Agencies, I was outraged, even then, at the overpayment of “consultants” and others who provided very little real transfer of knowledge or skills to those they were ostensibly sent / hired to help. The small, non-profit NGO’s providing micro-loans and onsite, daily support improving technical knowledge and skills, health care, etc. are what is needed, perhaps with a skeleton staff of “overseers” … but the overpaid, ill-informed (or worse, complacent) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus should not be among them. How could he be ignorant of Mugabe’s horrible record of abuse and failure to provide for his own people? WHO, like most of the older International Agencies, needs a good scrubbing out and reduction in numbers, with their considerable budgets used to support worth while, in-country NGO’s and small direct micro-loans to worthy individuals … especially women.

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