By Kings UBA (With Agency Reports)
Slim Chaker, who, until his death Sunday, was the Tunisian Health Minister, died in an unfortunate, yet glowing circumstance considered as African paradox: “When most African leaders had demonstrated the fill of selfishness in their official capacities, Chaker had paid with his blood in an act of selflessness. That is an African paradox, Abdulbaaqi Oussama said.
He died helping to battle cancer in the North African country.
Chaker, 56, died of a heart attack after “taking part in a charity marathon to help battle cancer”, officials said.
According the Tunisian Health Ministry, he fell ill after running some 500 yards and had a cardiac arrest immediately while making a speech in Nabeul with the aimed of raising funds to build a clinic for children with cancer and died later at a military hospital in Tunis.
“I have lost a brother and a colleague,” Prime Minister Youssef Chahed wrote on Facebook.
“He died doing a noble humanitarian act.”
Local media and internet users in the country reacted with sorrow to the passing of Chaker, a former adviser to President Beji Caid Essebsi who only took over the health brief last month.
“He has paid in blood for his patriotic work,” Tunisian magazine Leader wrote on Twitter.
Chaker would be remembered for many things. As the country’s Finance Minister, he helped stem a raging controversy about the Kasserine 5000 jobs.
He told radio station Mosaique FM that the announcement that approximately 5,000 jobs were to be created within the Kasserine Governate was a ‘communication error.’
He explained instead, that 5,000 of those unemployed within the Governate would benefit from a training schemes and assistance with preparing CVs.
A Tunis website, www.tunisia-live.net reported that the announcement of the 5,000 new jobs proved hugely controversial, igniting violent protest in interior regions throughout the country and bringing some areas to an effective standstill.
“The use of tear gas has been reported in numerous locations within the interior, as unemployed protesters have clashed with security services, demanding the same measures as they thought had been extended to Kasserine”
But Chaker will forever be remembered for dying while helping to battle cancer.