ZimbabweHuchi Business Godwin Matanga Biography | Age, Early Life, Wife, Career, Sanctions

Godwin Matanga Biography | Age, Early Life, Wife, Career, Sanctions

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This is the biography of Tandabantu Godwin Matanga, a Zimbabwean police officer who has been serving as the commissioner-general of the Zimbabwe Republic Police since 19 December 2017. He assumed the position after Augustine Chihuri’s removal following the November 2017 coup d’état. Matanga was officially appointed as commissioner-general on 12 February 2018 by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He joined the police force in 1982 and had previously held the position of deputy commissioner-general since 1992.

Early Life

Tandabantu Godwin Matanga was born on February 5, 1962, in Chipinge, Manicaland Province, during the era of Southern Rhodesia.

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In 1978, at the age of 16, Matanga enlisted in the struggle for liberation, crossing into Mozambique to join the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army. Subsequently, in 1979, he underwent training in Romania and Egypt. Following the conclusion of the war, Matanga transitioned to the Zimbabwe Republic Police, commencing his service as a patrol officer in October 1982. Over the years, he steadily advanced through the ranks, eventually attaining the position of deputy commissioner-general in 1992.

Transitioning into the mid-2000s, Matanga became a member of the Joint Operations Command, Zimbabwe’s primary state security coordinating body. On November 22, 2005, he found himself among the 127 Zimbabweans subjected to sanctions by the United States Treasury Department, accused of obstructing Zimbabwe’s democratic transition. These sanctions were initiated by President George W. Bush, who characterized the 2005 Zimbabwean parliamentary election as “not free or fair.” Reports emerged in 2011 suggesting that Matanga was contending with Innocent Matibiri, a nephew of President Robert Mugabe, for the commissioner-general position amidst speculation about the non-renewal of Augustine Chihuri’s term.

December 19, 2017, marked Matanga’s appointment as the acting commissioner-general of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, succeeding Augustine Chihuri, a close associate of President Robert Mugabe, who stepped down after the November 2017 coup d’état. According to Chihuri, Matanga played a role in fomenting the coup by allegedly informing the country’s military commander, Constantino Chiwenga, of Chihuri’s purported plans to apprehend him. On February 12, 2018, Matanga received official confirmation as the commissioner-general from President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Matanga was actively involved in endeavours to seize assets allegedly acquired through corrupt means during Chihuri’s tenure as commissioner-general. Chihuri accused Matanga of orchestrating police raids on his residence and subjecting his family to harassment while also contesting Matanga’s qualifications for the role of police chief.

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In 2005, Matanga, along with 127 other Zimbabweans, was sanctioned by the United States Treasury Department for impeding the democratic transition within the country. This move was spurred by concerns over the fairness of the 2005 Zimbabwean parliamentary election. Furthermore, Matanga’s tenure saw controversy, including allegations of involvement in the events surrounding the 2017 coup d’état.


Matanga is married to Chamapiwa Matanga and is a father to at least two sons, both active within the ZANU–PF Youth League.

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