The Zimbabwe Republic Police officer commanding Matabeleland North, Senior Assistant Commissioner Edmore Gochai Veterai, has been transferred to Harare.
Veterai, who headed police operations in the province for six years, is now the chief staff officer in charge of administration at the Police General Headquarters (PGHQ) in Harare.
He will be replaced by Senior Assistant Commissioner Norman Sibanda from PGHQ. Sibanda was the officer commanding Matabeleland South before he was transferred to Harare in 2009 and was replaced by Senior Assistant Commissioner Billy Mashonga.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Siphiwe Makonese yesterday confirmed that Veterai had been redeployed.
“I can confirm that Senior Assistant Commissioner Veterai has been transferred,” she said.
The move to transfer Veterai, who at times courted controversy for regularly banning Zanu PF opponents from holding rallies in the province, was welcomed by Zapu and the two MDC formations.
The parties said they looked forward to a professional relationship with the incoming commander.
Veterai has been accused by the two MDC formations of blocking a number of their campaign rallies in Matabeleland North last year. Early last year, during a belated provincial Christmas party and prize-giving ceremony, Veterai said Zanu PF would rule forever.
Zapu Matabeleland North provincial secretary Methuseli Moyo, who doubles as the party’s southern region spokesperson, said they were happy with the transfer.
“We look forward to a professional working relationship with the incoming police commander,” he said.
“Veterai had rebranded himself from a law enforcer to a Zanu PF agent. It is not in our culture to be criticising police officers, but when they behave in the manner Veterai did, they can be open to criticism. We are happy he is gone and wish him the best.”
MDC-T deputy organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe said the move had come as a relief.