It maybe a call of duty, but diving into an eighteen-metre deep pool laden with a history of taking people’s lives and mythical stories of mermaid spirits may possibly require nerves of steel. It is like diving head first to one’s death. However, boasting of highly trained expert divers, ZRP Sub-Aqua Unit regularly tackles the feared Nkalwini pool head on to retrieve dead bodies.Dubbed ‘pool of death’ by locals, Nkalwini pool is located on the peripheries of bustling suburb of Entumbane in Bulawayo. As its alias says it, the pool has a notorious reputation of killing people.

There are juxtaposing schools of thought as to why the pool has claimed so many lives. Some say people simply go there to end their lives after they fail to confront their frustrations while others argue the pool harbours a mermaid spirit with extra-ordinary supernatural powers which draws people closer to the water and then drown them.

Officer-in-Charge ZRP Entumbane, Chief Inspector Gordon Sibanda confirmed that Nkalwini pool has been scene of several drowning cases, a majority of whom are suicide related. He said there is a section of locals who believe that the pool might be harbouring place for a mermaid spirit.

“Nkalwini pool is believed to be a disused quarry mine shaft which was abandoned after the miners burst an aquifer, so even if they drain the pool, water it quickly fills up. Several people have drowned themselves in that pool and there is also a belief among locals that the pool might be harbouring a mermaid spirit,” said Chief Insp Sibanda.

In a case that left indelible traumatic impression among police officers at ZRP Entumbane, Chief Insp Sibanda said one man who had failed to secure a driving job drowned himself in front of police details who were attempting to rescue him.

Each time a drowning case occurs at the pool, ZRP Sub-Aqua Unit is there to do the dangerous job of retrieving the body. And for this sterling job the section has been appaluded by local residents.

Addressing scores of people who gathered at Zothile Business Centre in Entumbane to witness ZRP Entumbane Client Service Charter launch, the Chairperson of ZRP Entumbane Crime Consultative Committee (CCC) and a resident of Entumbane, Mr Peter Sadza commended ZRP Sub-Aqua Unit for an intrepid show of commitment to duty.

“I need to commend ZRP Sub-Aqua Unit for their bravery. Each time a person drowns in Nkalwini pool they come here to retrieve the body. The pool is eighteen-metre deep and very dangerous even to rescuers,” said Mr Sadza.

He added that Entumbane residents have already engaged the city fathers to fence off the pool in order limit access to it. On the otherhand, police has embarked on awareness campaigns telling residents not to visit the pool.

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