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article imageOp-Ed: Unusual excuse for not getting the job done — mermaids

By Amanda Payne     Feb 7, 2012 in Odd News
The Minister for Water Resources in Zimbabwe came up with the excuse of all time for the non-completion of work on two dam projects essential for water supplies in the country. He said mermaids were scaring workers away.
The state owned Herald newspaper reported recently that the minister, Samuel Sipipa Nkomo made the allegations during a meeting of the Senate Committee. He alleged that the problem had first emerged at a project in Gokwe when workers installing water pumps at a dam refused to return to work after being scared by the mermaids. The same problem occurred at a project at Osborne dam in Manicaland Province. The Minister said that white personnel had been brought in but they also refused to complete the work. He insisted that traditional cleansing rituals needed to be performed before the works could continue. He was backed up in his claims by the Minister for Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, Ignatius Chombo.
In a report in the Daily Mail on Feb 6, the paper says that belief in mermaids is widespread in Zimbabwe with many apocryphal tales of what happens to people who upset them. However, the two projects are essential for the country both to supply water to the population and to boost agriculture.
ZimGuardian reports that Mr Nkomo said that traditional beer should be brewed to assist in the rites for cleansing the dams. He also claimed that mermaids could be found in other water reservoirs in the country.
In the meantime, the people of Zimbabwe are suffering from starvation, outbreaks of cholera, typhoid and a rampant AIDS epidemic. Most are surviving on less than a dollar US a day. The Zanu-PF government of Robert Mugabe claimed recently that the outbreak of typhoid was a result of biological warfare by the British government. Dr. Madzorera who is the MDC Secretary for Health and Senator for Kwekwe is quoted in the exiled news service Change Zimbabwe as saying:
“There is no link between the current typhoid outbreak and the British. We owe it ourselves and there is need to remedy the situation. As a country we should not be suffering from medieval diseases. The problem is that we are receivers of a failed economy"
Desperately needed water cannot be provided due to "mermaids" and diseases caused by disastrous government policies are blamed on biological warfare. This is the reality that Zimbabweans have to live with every day.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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