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Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga demoted?

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Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) boss Commissioner-General Godwin Matannga is reported to have been forced out of the police force. This is according to exiled former Cabinet Minister and G40 member Professor Jonathan Moyo. Moyo who seems to have some access to high-level matter despite being in exile claimed that Matanga had been placed on forced leave and that he is not coming back to the force. He claimed that Matanga will be redeployed as an Ambassador and that he is going to be replaced by Deputy Commissioner General Stephen Mutamba. Writing on microblogging site Twitter, Moyo said,

Godwin Matanga, Commissioner General of Police, has been sent on leave pending redeployment as an ambassador. This paves the way for the elevation of Deputy Commissioner General Stephen Mutamba, now Acting CGP. Changes at ZRP since the coup, have been dramatic & controversial!

Earlier this month, a number of senior Police Officers including former President Robert Mugabe’s nephew Deputy Commissioner General Innocent Matibiri were retired from the force. All officers in the ZRP who have reached 50 years of age are also being retired. In January President Emmerson Mnangagwa was reported to have reversed the decision to fire almost the entire top hierarchy of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) when more than 30 senior police officers from the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioner onwards were put on retirement because the decision had been made without his full knowledge.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba confirmed the reversals to the weekly publication, The Standard,

We are dealing with security here. We don’t treat it like we are treating civilian structures.

Yes, it was done when the president was away and when he came back, he discovered we had thrown away the bath water with the child and corrective measures had to be taken.

As I speak, I am sitting with two more names which have been removed from the list — Erasmus Makodza and Douglas Nyakutsikwa. We are now down to nine. It was a well-meant move by the Police Service Commission but spoiled by overreaction and the president, with his two deputies, reversed the decision.

So far there is no official comment from the authorities on the position of Matanga.

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