BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
A DUAL Croatian and Zimbabwean citizen, Joseph Richard Crnkovic, who is involved in bitter fight for control of the Glen Forest Memorial Park on Thursday sought shelter at the European Union Commission offices fearing “assassination”.
EU ambassador, Timo Olkonnen, confirmed that Crnkovic was at the embassy at the guard’s parking lot.
“I can confirm that he has been and currently is at the delegation parking lot. Otherwise, I have no comments to be made,” Olkonnen said in response to questions from NewsDay Weekender.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, said he had not received any reports regarding the incident.
Crnkovic, a director of Fopuld Investments with 49% shareholding in Cadrina, has been locked in a fight for control of the Glen Forest Memorial Park.
The matter is yet to be heard at the High Court.
Crnkovic claims that he is being hounded out of Zimbabwe by his business partners with police and political connections.
Crnkovic said he was warned by hotel security of his imminent arrest for unclear reasons, and had to run for his life.
“I request protection and an urgent transfer to the French embassy or other suitable embassy where I may have food and water. Today (Thursday) I was chased by close to 40 unmarked cars which seem to be of State security agents,” Crnkovic wrote to the embassy from the parking lot.
“Fearing for my life, I rushed to the EU Council. The vehicles followed in fast pursuit. I barely made it to the commission in time. I believe if I had been a few minutes later, I would be dead. The reason for this is I am the representative of the company taking Glen Forest Memorial Park to court to stop its operations.”
He argues that the deed to the land in dispute specifically states that the land must be used for residential and agricultural purposes only, and not as a burial site. If he wins the case in court, over 40 000 graves risk being dug up.
“As a result of the above, I believe my life is in danger. Historically, my rights have been trampled on, I have been unfairly treated in the courts of Zimbabwe and prevailed,” he
“I have legally attacked the government to get my civil rights back and I have started civil litigation which is not in the interest of the General or President. Both these actors, the prime decision makers, have been rumoured to be associated with killing people.”
The dispute between Crnkovic and the other shareholders started when they tried to buy him out by offering him shares in subsidiary of Glen Forest known as Chikomo Chemhute, a cemetary where over 40 000 people are buried.
Crnkovic, who refused to sell his shares in Candrina, argues that Chikomo Chemhute is an illegitimate enterprise which exposed the business to litigation from families of people buried there.
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