Seeking asylum in Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

A collapsing economy, starving people with a corrupt government and a partisan police force: all very important – but not nearly as entertaining as a Croatian businessman on the run from the police in Harare seeking asylum at the EU Embassy.

Not quite in the Embassy but in the Embassy’s parking lot – anyway certainly more comfortable than Chikurubi prison. He apparently wants to be transferred to the French Embassy. Perhaps he thinks the food would be better there.

The asylum seeker is Joseph Richard Crnkovic, apparently a dual citizen of Croatia and Zimbabwe. He is fighting over control of Glen Forest Memorial Park. He says the cemetery is on land designated for residential and agricultural purposes only. One would have thought that being buried was pretty residential but he seems to want the 40,000 graves dug up.

We will watch Mr Crnkovic’s progress with interest. He says he was pursued to the EU Embassy by 40 unmarked cars and feared for his life. We wonder whether this phalanx will chase him to the French Embassy (see:

It is not just a ‘memorial park’ that is at risk in Zimbabwe. An even bigger prize for money-makers is the Victoria Falls, where two companies are planning to build on restricted zones designated by UNESCO as world heritage sites. They have been taken to court by environmentalists and residents who say the authorities are granting the concessions in an underhand manner (see:

Meanwhile, senior police officers seem to have been helping themselves to cars impounded from motorists. The vehicles apparently ended up at an auction business owned by Vice-President Chiwenga’s former father-in-law. Former senior assistant commissioner in charge of transport and logistics Robert Masukusa has been summoned to court over charges of theft of state property, along with Vusimuzi Ncube, formerly chief staff officer in charge of administration and records (see:

‘Corruption has shot through the roof and no one seems to care’, comments Leonard Koni in an article in Bulawayo 24. He writes: ‘The country’s economy is on its knees and probably needs biblical resurrection. The Zanu PF government has lost its marbles and its successive economic blueprints have failed to turn around the country’s fortunes. For the past 20 or so years, the Zanu PF government has been busy chasing after the opposition day and night. It is unfortunate that the regime has nothing to offer besides regurgitating propaganda stories in the State media.’ (see:

Other points

Events and Notices:

  • Next ROHR Meeting. Saturday 6th August at 11 am.
  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 6th August from 2 – 5 pm. We will continue meeting on the first and third Saturdays of every month. On other Saturdays we will continue the virtual Vigil.
  • ROHR Beach Party. Saturday 13th August at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. Frinton’s railway station’s post code is CO13 9JT. For more information, Contact: Chido Makawa 07413024807, Enniah Dube 07367504747, Esther Munyira 07492058107 and Delice Gavaza 07752653891.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
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