POLICE have taken over investigations into the operations of Harare’s upmarket Glen Forest Memorial Park, where agricultural land was allegedly converted into a cemetery without proper documentation.
This comes amid reports that the project was approved by Goromonzi Rural District Council, although this could not be independently verified as council officials were not reachable for comment.
The matter was initially being handled by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) after one of the disgruntled shareholders, Joseph Crnkovic, claimed foul play over alleged illegal change of land ownership at Chikomo Chemute Farm, where the cemetery is located.
“I can confirm that we received the report in line with section 255(e) of the Constitution outlining the functions of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, and states that the commission can ‘direct the Commissioner-General of Police to investigate cases of suspected corruption and to report to the commission on the results of any such investigation, the matter will be referred to the ZRP for investigations’,” Zacc spokesperson John Makamure said.
The matter was exposed by Fopuld Investments, a sister company to Cadrina Investments, which claims to have a 49% stake in Glen Forest Memorial Park.
Fopuld Investments director Crnkovic filed a complaint with Zacc alleging that Glen Forest Memorial Park was operating illegally.
Crnkovic claimed that Chikomo Chemhute Farm was not designated to operate as a cemetery, but was agricultural land since it is located at the confluence of Mazowe River.
He accused Fungai Mparadzi and Maita Nzuwah of mortgaging title deeds of Chikomo Chemhute Farm to Ecobank without the knowledge of Industrial Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ), which partly owns a quarter of the land.
“The IDBZ won in 2017 a quarter of Chikomo Chemhute Farm as an arbitration settlement. The IDBZ then got a permit from former minister Saviour Kasukuwere to build a cemetery on their quarter of Chikomo Chemhute, but they never did. Mparadzi then, without the knowledge of IDBZ, went and pledged the whole title deed to Ecobank for a loan,” Crnkovic said.