Saturday, 18 December 2021

40 000 EXHUMATIONS CLAIMS TRASHED

Proprietors of Glen Forest Memorial Park have dismissed as malicious and baseless claims by some of its disgruntled minority shareholders that more than 40 000 bodies in the vicinity of the popular cemetery face exhumation.

This comes after Newsday sensationally claimed this week that more than 40 000 bodies will be exhumed at Glen Forest Memorial Park, which falls under Chikomo Chemhute, belongs to Mazowe Rural District Council and that the cemetery and crematorium had not been legally regulated by Government

However, in a statement, the board of directors for Glen Forest shot down the allegations that were made by Mr Joseph Crnkovic that minority shareholder Folpud Investments (Private) Limited discovered that the cemetery was being run illegally.

“It is with considerable concern that the directors, management and staff of Glen Forest Memorial Park have read the malicious and totally untrue accusations of fraud, misrepresentation and criminal activity alleged by a certain Joseph Crnkovic who purports to represent a minority shareholder in the business of Glen Forest Memorial Park, Folpud Investments Private Limited. This ugly and uncalled for malicious attack has been made without any regard whatsoever for the feelings and sensitivities of people who have loved ones buried at Glen Forest and to that extent, we unreservedly apologise to all our customers and stakeholders,” reads the statement from the board.

According to the statement, Folpud Investments is a foreign-controlled company whose principal is Hillary Duckworth with Mukwa Fund, a Bermuda-based entity.

“We state unequivocally that these accusations have no foundation in reality and that the facts are that Crnkovic, Duckworth, Folpud, and the Mukwa Fund represent a disgruntled, vindictive and malicious minority shareholder who is seeking to destroy the reputation of Glen Forest and spread fear and despondency throughout the Glen Forest community,” read the statement.

As part of the smear campaign, the minority shareholder has reportedly been sending letters falsely accusing the board of fraud, misrepresentation, and criminal activities.

“It is our view that personal attacks and accusations made against individual directors are totally uncalled for and represent an abuse of cyberspace and are in actual fact ‘Cyber Bullying”’.

The directors and management would welcome an investigation into these allegations by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (“ZACC”), The Zimbabwe Republic Police and any other appropriate agency of the Government of Zimbabwe.

“Unlike Crnkovic, Duckworth, Folpud, and the Mukwa Fund, Glen Forest is completely transparent and has nothing to hide. The actions of Crnkovic, Duckworth, Folpud, and the Mukwa Fund are deliberately designed to mislead the public concerning the affairs of Glen Forest and are tantamount to smear a legally compliant Zimbabwean company,” read the statement in part.

While the story that was published in Newsday claimed that Glen Forest is in Mazowe, under the country’s laws, the cemetery and crematorium are licensed and regulated by Goromonzi Rural District Council.

All applicable permits from the relevant authorities, including the Environment Management Authority (EMA) have been obtained and the company met the brick and cement lining and casing of graves as specified by EMA.

“Glen Forest was the first cemetery in Zimbabwe to adopt this practice for grave preparation. We are unaware of any mass exhumation orders as reported in NewsDay. Such a process requires the prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Zimbabwe Republic Police. We state clearly that Glen Forest has not yet sold 40,000 graves and at present there are less than 10,000 people buried within the cemetery.

“We have not received any formal communication or been served with any papers from Mhishi, Nkomo Legal Practice who according to Newsday has written to ZACC and various service providers to Glen Forest.

“For the record, disputes between the shareholders have been taken to court in Zimbabwe by the minority shareholder and are either pending or have been resolved in favor of the majority shareholder. The conduct of the minority shareholder in this saga is therefore as a direct consequence of their failure to succeed with their court applications against the majority shareholder. The Directors, Management, and Staff of Glen Forest have been running this business for more than a decade, we have nothing to hide. We are accountable to our customers, regulators, and all our stakeholders. We are willing to cooperate fully with authorities to confirm the facts pertaining to Glen Forest”. Herald

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