ZIMBABWE – POLICE Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri yesterday dispelled concerns of his health following a blackout during a police graduation parade at Morris Depot yesterday.
In an exclusive interview at his office, Commissioner General Chihuri also scoffed at suggestions that he quits his job on health grounds saying he is fit as a fiddle thus able to see through his term.
Commissioner General Chihuri however, apologised to the President, fellow service chiefs, police officers and all Zimbabweans for the incident that seemed to attract more attention, especially from the media, at the expense of President Robert Mugabe’s important speech.
Looking back at what led to his collapse, Commissioner General Chihuri said a mistake by his aide resulted in him wearing different shoes –a size seven and half on his right and size nine on the left. The lengthy parade process coupled with rising temperatures complicated the situation for him to the point of the blackout that had him stretchered off to be attended to by Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister, Dr Douglas Mombeshora.
This resulted in Commissioner General Chihuri missing up to 20 minutes of the proceedings. “I am fit as a fiddle as you can see. What happened is that my aide took two different shoes with different sizes as I dressed for the occasion but I cannot blame them for that,” said Commissioner General Chihuri showing the shoes to this report.
“One of the boots was size seven and half on my right leg and the other one size 9 on my left and there was no (air) circulation on the leg with a tight shoe.
“I felt the tightness as the procession went on but because of my role I could not take them off while the procession was in progress. I could feel the increasing pain and I am sure the circulation of blood decreased until I collapsed.”
He revealed that he has had the smaller shoe since 1980! “That small boot was given to me in 1980 when I was a patrol officer at Morris Depot and they have been all here in my office.”
Commissioner General Chihuri revealed that he could not get the proper size shoe at that stage and to solve the problem of tightness he took off socks before returning to the parade.