A Croatian businessman has appealed for consular protection and diplomatic intervention claiming that he was facing prosecution disclosing that Chikomo Chemhute Cemetery, which is part of Glen Forest Memorial Park, was an illegal enterprise.
Joseph Richard Crnkovic addressed his letter dated November 15, 2021, to the European Union delegation to Zimbabwe, the Croatian consul in Pretoria, South Africa, and British ambassador Melanie Robinson.
In the letter, Crnkovic said he was deported from Zimbabwe on December 21, 2015, and declared a prohibited immigrant after the disclosure.
Crnkovic is a director of Fopuld Investments (Pvt) Ltd Zimbabwe which is said to hold 49% shareholding in Cadrina Investments (Pvt) Ltd, which also owns Chikomo Chemhute.
Chikomo Chemhute is an entity registered for purposes of holding the asset which houses the Glen Forest Memorial Park. Crnkovic wrote:
The farm (is not compliant with) section 35 of Zimbabwe Cemeteries Act.
Furthermore, it is in the catchment area of the Mazowe Dam with no Environmental Management Agency (Ema) approval to establish a cemetery in this area.
Crnkovic said he was seeking protection because he was being charged for a crime that he was not aware of. He alleged that he also received a summons on November 18, 2021, to appear in court for a criminal trial. Crnkovic wrote:
However, I have not been availed the State’s evidence. I am told that a warrant for my arrest has already been issued so I cannot go to Harare to prepare.
I seek your urgent consular protection and intervention in this matter as I have been arrested and detained once already and now cannot return to the country of my first nationality without being arrested again.
On October 12, he also wrote to the British ambassador seeking diplomatic intervention saying Chikomo Chemhute (Pvt) Limited is a farm that was fraudulently hidden from the books of Candrina Investments (Pvt) Limited, trading as Glen Forests Memorial Park.
He added that an estimated 20 000 to 40 000 people have been buried on the “hidden and illegal cemetery, which is a farm, and there is no EMA approval to bury people on this farm.”
Crnkovic added that the farm is in the catchment area of the Mazowe Dam and right next to Mazowe River.
Fungai Mparadzi, the chairman of Cadrina Investments, through his company representative Marowa Meleki said Glen Forest Memorial Park had all the required documents from the relevant authorities, including Goromonzi Rural District Council and EMA.