In the second major shake-up of the police force since the ouster from power of Robert Mugabe, authorities have promoted close to 500 senior cops, the Daily News reported.

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The latest shake-up comes a week after nearly 2 000 junior police officers were also promoted to higher ranks, as President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration continues to re-arrange the decks within the security sector.

Senior Assistant Commissioner Stephen Mutamba, who was earlier this year promoted to lead the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), has again been lifted to the lofty position of Deputy Commissioner General – while eight assistant commissioners have been promoted to senior assistant commissioners.

Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga announced the latest movements, which are effective from July 25, in a radio transcript which the Daily News has seen a copy of.

Fifteen chief superintends – who include Tedeus Madondo, Silungile Ndlovu, Paul Nyathi, Nelson Charumbira, Steven Kazingizi and Givemore Munjeri – have been promoted to assistant commissioners.

In addition, 33 superintendents have been promoted to chief superintendents, while 71 officers have been regraded to the rank of superintendent, with 182 inspectors and deputy inspectors promoted to chief inspectors, and a further 350 promoted to the rank of inspector.

The changes come as morale in the police service was said to be at an all-time low, as officers felt increasingly undervalued and overstretched.

Matanga said the public conferment of the new ranks would be conducted after Monday’s harmonised elections.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba could not be reached for comment on the staff movements. However, she has previously said that the wave of promotions was part of efforts to improve law enforcement in the country.

“The current exercise started long back in April … The promotions have nothing to do with the pending harmonised elections. In fact, the ZRP last conducted the exercise three years ago,” she told the Daily News recently.

Mnangagwa, who swept to power on the back of a military intervention, first made a number of changes in the ZRP last year – with long-serving Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri being retired and replaced by Matanga.

The president followed that up with the retirement of 10 senior officers – commissioners Grace Nomsa Ndebele and Mekia Tanyanyiwa; and senior assistant commissioners Godfrey Munyonga, Justice Chifunye Chengeta, Douglas Jabulani Nyakutsikwa, Robert Tendero Masukusa, Prudence Chakanyuka, Eve Mlilo, Grace Maenzanise and Munyori Taedzerwa.

And just recently, several senior officers in the Police Protection Unit, who were providing security to Mugabe, were also redeployed.

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