PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa continues to ring changes within the security sector, with his eyes now set on the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) where Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga is set to be replaced.
Already, President Mnangagwa has made some key changes within the military, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and government circles as he seeks to strengthen his grip on power, while emasculating Chiwenga’s influence.
The Presidential Guard has also not been spared. The Zimbabwe Independent reports that Matanga, who was appointed to head the police in the aftermath of the November 2017 putsch on Robert Mugabe, is set to be replaced.
Early this year, Mnangagwa redeployed personnel in the Presidential Guard and Mechanised Brigade, where senior commanders and troops, who played critical roles in the coup, were shifted or removed.
Senior commanders who have since been retired and posted to diplomatic missions include Major-General Anselem Sanyatwe, who was commander of the Presidential Guard; former Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) chief-of-staff (administration) Douglas Nyikayaramba, chief-of-staff responsible for service personnel and logistics, Major-General Martin Chedondo, and Air Vice-Marshal Sheba Shumbayawonda.
The current Deputy Commissioners-General, Stephen Mutamba, Mind Elliot Ngirandi, Learn Ncube and Lorraine Chipato are being considered for the position while Registrar-General Clemence Masango, a former high-ranking police officer, is also in the running.
Masango, a Mnangagwa loyalist, served as immigration boss after moving from the police, before being appointed Registrar-General.
Matanga replaced Augustine Chihuri, a perceived Mugabe loyalist who fled the country to Malwai in the aftermath of the 2017 military coup.
“Changes are looming in the police. On paper they are meant to improve the efficiency and operations of the police. But in real terms, these changes must be seen in the broader context of the ongoing changes President Mnangagwa has been introducing in the security sector as he consolidates his grip, while weakening his ambitious deputy’s influence. The President wants trusted lieutenants in key positions,” the publication reports, quoting a senior government official.