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Mugabe in New York for Ebola Summit

FILE: Zimbabwe president, and chair of the African Unity Summit, Robert Mugabe, addresses delegates at the end of the 25th AU Summit in Johannesburg, June 15, 2015.

President Robert Mugabe and his entourage arrived in New York on Wednesday ahead of the United Nations International Ebola Recovery Conference on Friday.

Mr. Mugabe, who chairs both the African Union and Southern African Development Community, is accompanied by First Lady Grace Mugabe, Health Minister David Parirenyatwa, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

Sources at the Zimbabwe mission in New York confirmed that Mr. Mugabe and his delegation have arrived. The Zimbabwean leader is expected to be confined within a 25-mile radius due to travel sanctions imposed on him by America for allegedly human rights violations.

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki Moon announced on United Nations Radio last month that he will convene the conference to help mobilize resources.

The epidemic has affected more than 27,000 people, killing over 11,000 mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. United Nations special envoy on Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro said progress has been made in fighting Ebola but warned against complacency.

The World Health Organization estimates that there is a 50 percent chance that the disease will recur and needs to be controlled in the coming 12 months.

Zimbabwe did not record a single case of Ebola. But the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association is warning that the health delivery system in the country is deteriorating owing to government lax in controlling medical aid societies and alleged corruption at the Health Services Board.

The doctors cite the auditor general’s report which alleged that local resources are being abused.

The association’s president Fortune Nyamande said there is need for government to be firm with medical aid societies such as Public Service Medical Aid Society and CIMAS that he charges are short-changing patients.