Mermaids scare off reservoir workers
A government minister in Zimbabwe says work has stopped on new reservoirs because workers have been scared off - by mermaids.
Water resources minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo told a parliamentary committee that terrified workers were refusing to return to the sites, near the towns of Gokwe and Mutare.
Minister Nkomo said the only way to solve the problem was to brew traditional beer and carry out rites to appease the spirits.
"All the officers I have sent have vowed not to go back there," he was reported as saying in Zimbabwe's state-approved Herald newspaper.
The senior politician said that mermaids were also present in other reservoirs.
The long overdue reservoirs are considered essential if Zimbabwe is provide adequate water to its population and to boost agricultural production.
The belief in mermaids and other mythical creatures is widespread in the country, where many people combine a Christian faith with traditional beliefs.