Mugabe torturer also worked at Bristol rehab hospital

May 30, 2011 at 10:27 am Leave a comment

MORE details of the work carried out in Bristol by a violent henchman of Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe have been revealed.

Saturday’s Evening Post revealed that despite masterminding horrific torture in his home country, Phillip Machemedze has been granted permission to stay in the UK, and lives with his wife at an address in Barton Hill.

He was working until last week as a support worker for Milestones Trust, a Bristol charity which supports people with dementia, learning disabilities and mental health needs.

But before working for the charity, it has now been revealed that he had been employed by drug and alcohol recovery hospital The Priory in Stapleton.

The 46-year-old, who is HIV positive, did his final shift there in August last year.

And he could have worked at more facilities in the city as he provided references from previous employers to get the Priory job.

A recent immigration tribunal found that Mr Machemedze had inflicted terrible injuries on political opponents of the Mugabe regime, and ruled that he was involved in “savage acts of extreme violence”.

But despite the details of his actions – including smashing a man’s jaw with a pair of pliers – immigration judges said he could not be deported.

They said he could himself face torture if he was returned home, and that both he and his wife – who was granted asylum – could stay in Britain indefinitely.

A Priory spokesperson said: “It is unfortunate that a person of his background was allowed to live and work in this country without details of his past being made to potential employers.

“He was employed as a healthcare assistant for a number of years and all relevant employee and immigration checks were carried out with satisfactory results, prior to his employment.

“His Home Office status granted leave to work and his criminal record checks were clear, and he provided excellent references.

“He stopped working for the hospital in August last year, but during his employment we did not have any problems with him or his work.”

Concerns were raised about Mr Machemedze within Milestones Trust last week, and they informed the police as well as taking steps to prevent him returning to work because they believed he may have used false documentation to get the job.

The trust manages nearly 60 nursing and residential care homes across Bristol and the surrounding area, many of them small “family” houses for just four or five residents.

Asylum seekers are not generally allowed to work while their claims are being decided, but they are allowed to apply for permission to work if they have waited for more than a year for an initial decision on their asylum claim. It is not clear if Mr Machemedze has this permission.

Mr Machemedze worked as a bodyguard to a senior minister as part of Mugabe’s feared Central Intelligence Organisation.

He told the court this week that he “initially enjoyed his job” in Zimbabwe but “soon had enough of the torture”.

Mr Machemedze left the country and came to Britain in 2000 on a visitor visa. Eight years later, in December 2008, he claimed asylum along with his wife Febbie. Their daughter also lives in Britain, but two other children are in Zimbabwe.

An immigration tribunal ruled his crimes were so horrendous that he was barred from claiming asylum.

But the judge ruled that he could not be sent home because of the likelihood he will be tortured or executed by the Mugabe regime.

Home Secretary Theresa May has launched a bid to overturn the ruling

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