Agovernment minister in Zimbabwe says work has stopped on new reservoirs because workers have been scared off by mermaids, a report has said.

According to orangenews.com, Minister of Water Resources Samuel Sipepa Nkomo reportedly told a parliamentary committee that terrified workers were refusing to return to the sites, near the towns of Gokwe and Mutare.

He 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,” Zimbabwe’s state-approved Herald newspaper quoted him as saying.

The senior politician allegedly said mermaids were also present in other reservoirs around the country.

The building of the reservoirs is long overdue, but is considered essential if Zimbabwe is to provide adequate water for its population and 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.

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