Water Resources Development and Management Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo says that there is need to perform traditional rituals in order to appease angry mermaids at a dam in Gokwe that is meant to provide water to a local township.

Nkomo who was presenting evidence on the water supply situation in Zimbabwe when he said, that they had had a similar experience in Mutare and had to slaughter beasts. “All the officers I have sent have vowed not to go back there and I am now appealing to the chiefs to do what is necessary to correct the problem,” he said.

He said a similar situation occurred at Osborne Dam in Manicaland. Government hired white personnel to do the job but they also refused to undertake the project. “We even hired whites (thinking that our boys did not want to work) but they also returned saying they would not return to work there again,” he said.

Minister Nkomo said it was necessary to brew traditional beer and carry out any rites to appease the spirits.

Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo, who also appeared before the committee, concurred that there was need to perform traditional rites at the dams.