Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga is reported to have been forced out of the police force. This is according to exiled former Cabinet Minister and G40 kingpin Professor Jonathan Moyo.
“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!” said Moyo.
The all-powerful Matanga was one of the key members who masterminded the November 2017 coup that ended Robert Mugabe’s 37 years of oppressive rule.
This report has led to many Zimbabweans speculating that the redeployment may have been necessitated by the statement he gave while testifying before the Kgalema Motlanthe violence commission.
Appearing before the Commission of Inquiry into the Harare shootings, Matanga said he gave the final command to have the army deployed and was on “top of the situation” when the shootings happened.
“My understanding of the law is that the president did actually approve the deployment of the members of the defence forces to come income in support of the Zimbabwe Republic Police…” said Matanga.
Asked on whether he is the one who gave the final order for the deployment of the army, he said;
“I can’t run away from the fact that it was me (who ordered the deployment of the army). The deployment of the army was to make sure that these demonstrators would not run over the Rainbow Towers, which was accommodating the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) command centre…” added Matanga.
He said after the approval by the president, the ZNA was under the order of the National regulatory Authority.
“When the situation had gone out of hand, I alerted my then Minister Dr. Obert Mpofu that there was no time to meet and discuss the situation but it was time for action. My minister then invited assistance from his counterpart from the Ministry of Defense Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and within a short space of time consultations were made.
“My minister phoned back and said permission to invite members of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces had ben granted, He , the Minister,asked me to get in touch with the Commander ZDF Philip Valerio Sibanda who in turn advised me to directly discuss the nitty gritties of the operation with the Commander Zimbabwe National Army Lieutenant-General Edzayi Chakanyuka Chimonyo.
“I talked with the Commander ZNA that the normal process was not going to be followed because there was no time for that,” said Matanga.
Matanga also told the commissioner that the reason why he has not arrested MDC President Nelson Chamisa over the August 1 killings was because Mnangagwa had extended as hand to the opposition leader to join him in government as the official Leader of Opposition.