In a rather stranger than fiction case, which left people at Village Seven under Chief Nemangwe in Gokwe shocked, two boys died under unclear circumstances after they were reportedly snatched by a suspected mermaid at Pachemumvuri Dam.
It is reported that the mystical creature first pulled the boys, who were playing near the dam, under water only to resurface with them alive.
While adult witnesses, who had gathered at the scene when the boys first disappeared, were counselling the children on a rocky outcrop near the dam their hysterical parents appeared.
It is said the parents made the mistake of crying about the near death experiences of the boys and the mermaid grabbed the two minors again and disappeared under water. This time for good.
Traditionally, it is believed that when a person is taken by a mermaid people are not supposed to cry as doing so can lead to dire consequences, leading to the death of the victim. Police have since launched investigations into the case.
Acting Midlands Provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende said investigations were in progress to ascertain what really transpired.
“I can confirm that we are investigating a case of sudden death by drowning which occurred at Village Seven under Chief Nemangwe on 19 February at around 12pm when two minors who were herding cattle drowned and their bodies were later retrieved by fellow villagers,” she said.
Before the incident, the creature had reportedly been seen on the banks of the dam several times. Confirming the shocking incident Chief Nemangwe whose jurisdiction the area falls under said a cleansing ceremony had since been conducted at the dam to calm the water spirits.
“It is reported that on the fateful day the two boys who were in Form One and Two at Ganye Secondary School were herding cattle when they saw the mermaid at the dam.
“According to a friend of the deceased boys, his companions jumped into the dam and tried to grab the mermaid because they believed it was just a big fish.
“But the mermaid pulled them down into the water,” said Chief Nemangwe.
The friend then ran home to alert the elders, who arrived at the dam to find the boys lying on a rock, alive.
“When their parents got to the dam they panicked believing their children had died and started crying.
“A whirlwind suddenly engulfed the place before the mermaid swiftly appeared from the water and grabbed the boys for the second time but this time their lifeless bodies resurfaced later,” said Chief Nemangwe.
According to the chief the latest victims were not the first to meet their demise at the dam under mysterious circumstances.
“Two other people that I am aware of were also killed at the same dam in similar circumstances. As a community we have since performed some rituals to calm down the water spirits. During the ceremony we slaughtered a beast and the meat was consumed without salt,” said Chief Nemangwe.
Work on the pumps at Sengwa 2/Gwehava Dam in Gokwe once stopped after terrified workers complained of machines breaking down under mysterious circumstances, and blamed mermaids. The work later resumed after traditional healers brewed beer and carried out some rites to appease the water spirits.
A mermaid is a legendary aquatic creature with the upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, Africa and Asia.