BRITISH detectives are closing in on Robert Mugabe, gathering evidence in a bid to put the Zimbabwean tyrant on trial for war crimes, according to the Sun newspaper of UK.
Scotland Yard’s SO15 War Crimes Team will interview Mugabe’s former henchman Phillip Machemedze in Bristol next week.
The Sun told last May how Machemedze, 47, made a gruesome admission of his own brutality at an asylum hearing that let him stay in Britain.
Police believe his information could be crucial in finally nailing Mugabe, who has been accused of carrying out mass murder against opponents throughout his 32-year rule.
The move comes after ex-Liberian president Charles Taylor, 64, was convicted at the International Criminal Court of murder, rape and using children as soldiers.
The Met confirmed it was investigating suspected human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. A source said: “The focus now is on two high-profile Mugabe affiliates, but the ultimate goal is Mugabe. Machemedze would be an extremely good witness against any of them.”
Machemedze, who fled Zimbabwe in 2000, is one of the few Mugabe thugs to have revealed the full horror of the land-grab era that saw countless white farmers slaughtered in the 1990s.
He told the asylum tribunal how he killed people slowly by hacking off their limbs, and admitted he had “enjoyed” torturing victims.
He was allowed to stay after claiming his life would be in danger from his former masters. Machemedze’s UK lawyers refused to comment.