Former CIO operative allegedly working illegally in UK

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The British government continues to pile pressure on a former member of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), Phillip Machemedze, taking him to court for allegedly working illegally in the United Kingdom.

The British Home Office denied Machemedze’s asylum request on the grounds he committed “crimes against humanity” after he reportedly admitted smashing an MDC-T supporter’s jaw with pliers and pulling out his tooth. He also reportedly took part in the torture and killing of several MDC-T activists.

Justice David Archer of the First Tier Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber allowed Machemedze and his wife’s appeals in a judgment delivered on May 4 2011. The Home Office appealed against the decision following pressure from human rights groups and Zimbabweans in the UK, but was turned down.

He is, however, now before the courts for allegedly working at the Priory Clinic in Bristol while his asylum claim was being processed.
His lawyer in the asylum case, Masimba Mavaza of IEI Solicitors, a former prosecutor at the Harare Magistrates’ Court and lecturer at the Police Staff College, confirmed Machemedze had been taken to court, but said he was not representing him in the criminal case.

“I can confirm that Machemedze has been indicted to Crown Court for a hearing. I am not the lawyer dealing with the criminal case and I will not be able to comment further,” he said.

Machemedze is expected to go on trial at the Bristol Crown Court soon.

His lawyer in the criminal case could not be reached for comment.

Machemedze has been under pressure from the British media, Zimbabweans in the UK and human rights groups after revelations he was involved in torture.