POLICE Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri has apologised to President Mugabe and the nation for collapsing during a graduation parade at Morris Training Depot in Harare yesterday.
Comm-Gen Chihuri, who returned to his seat 30 minutes after being attended to by Dr Douglas Mombeshora (Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement), also commended President Mugabe’s fitness after he went through the nearly three-hour proceedings on his feet.
“I want to apologise for this happening to my officers and to members of the ZRP what has happened and I sincerely apologise to them and I also apologise to my leadership, particularly the President and my Minister of Home Affairs for what has happened and to all of you.
“I just want to say now finally those people who think the President is not fit they must now ask me because we were together, we went through the same paces and there he was, up and about up until now when something caught up with me so they must take care,” he said.
Comm-Gen Chihuri attributed his blackout to working long hours in recent times and a mix-up in the shoes he wore for the occasion.
“I have been working overnight for quite some time. The situation has been exacerbated or worsened by the fact that there was a mix-up of my shoes. The right shoe was mixed up with the left one. The right shoe is a bit small and it is an old shoe so my toes were burning because of the tightness of the shoe and there was no circulation (of blood) in that leg that caused me to be dizzy and then fell down.
“I had this small blackout because of what I have explained, lack of circulation but checked the blood pressure is ok you can ask Dr Mombeshora, he also checked the sugar levels, they are fine and that coupled with the heat and the type of clothing and what I also had inside because in the morning it was a bit chilly, so I had put on some T-shirt as you can see so that caused that (collapse),” he said
He, however, insisted that he was fit and that the nation had nothing to be alarmed of.
Comm-Gen Chihuri also apologised to fellow service chiefs following the mishap and promised that they would review procedures during parade to reduce time spent while standing.
“I just also want to extend my apologies to my colleagues, the service chiefs, because I know this might affect them in one way or the other but I can assure you that this will not happen again.
“We stand for too long on our parades you know for more than two hours we are standing. Remember I was there at parade by 10:45 standing until 12 its quite long . . . but we will make some adjustments where necessary,” he said.