Godwin Matanga
Godwin Matanga.jpg
BornGodwin Tandabantu Matanga
(1962-02-05)February 5, 1962
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Commissioner General ZRP

Godwin Tandabantu Matanga is a senior Zimbabwean law enforcement officer. Matanga is the current Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police. He was named acting Commissioner-General after long-serving ZRP Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri retired in December 2017. On 12 February 2017, the Public Service Commission announced Matanga's appointment as the substantive Commissioner General.


Matanga was born on February 5 1962 in Chipinge.[1]

Participation In Liberation Struggle

In 1978 a 16-year-old Matanga crossed the border into Mozambique where he joined the liberation struggle. He was deployed for training in Romania and Egypt in 1979.[1]


Following his return from Mozambique, Matanga was attested into the Zimbabwe Republic Police as a patrol officer in October 1982. He acquired vast experience in the Zimbabwe Republic Police, rising through the ranks to Deputy Commissioner General in 1992, a rank that he held until his recent elevation to Commissioner of Police.[1]

Battle For Promotion

It was reported that Matanga and Matibiri were battling to succeed Augustine Chihuri. This was before Chihuri's renewal of contract as the Commissioner General in 2011. According to reports the cause for the battle followed the then Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's statement that Chihuri should leave office.[2]

UK Sanctions List

On 2 February 2021 the UK government imposed sanction on Godwin Matanga for what has been termed gross human rights violations, The Telegraph can reveal. The Harare regime’s state security minister, intelligence director, police chief and leader of the Presidential Guard have been sanctioned for their alleged role in the deaths of 23 Zimbabwean protesters killed for expressing the right to free speech and demonstration.

A travel ban and asset freeze has been levied on the four men, meaning they can no longer travel freely to the UK nor channel money through Britain’s banks or economy. They are held responsible by the UK Government for the worst human rights violations against the people of Zimbabwe since President Emmerson Mnangagwa took power in November 2017.

His regime has overseen a state-sponsored crackdown against protests, including in January 2019 which resulted in the deaths of 17 Zimbabweans, as well as post-election violence in August 2018 in which six protesters lost their lives. Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, said: “These sanctions send a clear message that we will hold to account those responsible for the most egregious human rights violations, including the deaths of innocent Zimbabweans.”

Stressing that the sanctions are targeted at senior individuals in the Government, and not ordinary Zimbabweans, he added: “We will continue to press for the necessary political and economic reforms that will benefit all Zimbabweans.”

The four men sanctioned are Owen Ncube, Zimbabwe’s minister for state security; Isaac Moyo, director general of the Central Intelligence Organisation; Godwin Matanga, commissioner general of the Zimbabwe Republic Police; and Anselem Sanyatwe, commander of the Presidential Guard and Tactical Commander of the National Reaction Force.

They are the first individuals from the nation to be designated under the UK’s new autonomous Zimbabwe sanctions regime following Britain’s departure from the EU.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Elita Chikwati, Matanga now substantive police chief, Herald, published: February 13, 2018, retrieved: February 13, 2018
  2. Matanga, Matibiri battle for top cop job , , Published: 14 September 2011 , Retrieved: 21 December 2017
  3. Lucy Fisher, [1], The Telegraph, Published: 1 February, 2021, Accessed: 1 February, 2021