IN a suburb where tap water is so scarce, there bubbles a mysterious water pool now infamously known in the area as "the pool of death".

While the mysterious pool has come to the aid of the community as the chief supplier of domestic water for scores of families, it has also become talking point as it is being used as a dumping pond for dead bodies.

Residents who frequent the mysterious pool also talk of a mysterious mermaid that resides there. They called on traditionalists to cleanse it and appease the haunting spirit of death.

Epworth is a shanty peri-urban settlement where most low income earners and informal traders reside. The pool is said to be a result of quarry mining; but no one knows the depth of the pool even though it is believed to be more than 100 metres deep.

"The pool is more than 100 metres in depth. We measured it using a long rope with a stone tied at the end of thee rope. Engineers have spent some days trying to draw out the water but they failed," said a resident Peter Kadumbo, who has been residing in Epworth since 1980.

Despite the pool being an oasis in the midst of a desert as residents rely on it for irrigation, building, washing, swimming and bathing, the floating bodies have become a worry for residents.

Gracious who lives nearby said it was very rare for a month to pass without a dead body being pulled from the pool. "It has earned itself a nickname — 'pool of death'. People commit suicide by drowning."

The mysterious pool never dries and residents now associate it with supernatural powers. "There is a mermaid that lives in the pool hence it will never dry owing to its supernatural powers," said Agnes Chinganga. Some residents said they had ceased to visit the pool after hallucinating in broad daylight.

"I used to swim in the pool but I am no longer interested after seeing disfigured faces in the pool, up to now I am failing to define or understand what I saw," said Taurai Sithole.

Admire Zungururu who used to enjoy a swim in the pool said he had since stopped after his legs were once pulled deeper into the pool by what he could only describe as "mysterious spirits".

"I almost died while swimming in the pool. My legs were being pulled deeper into the water by some forces which I cannot understand and I found it difficult to swim. I survived through the skin of my teeth," said Zungururu.

Chinganga believes the pool is devilish and demonic in nature. "A lot of people lost their lives in the pool. Most people have died by drowning in the pool and these are usually women and children who will be fetching water for domestic chores" he said.

Residents said murderers had also found a dumping ground as they are throwing bodies in the pool during the darkness of night.

The mysterious pool has become talk of Epworth with some suggesting that it is haunted, hence a need for a cleansing ceremony to be held at the site by traditionalists.

"Top government officials and traditional leaders should perform a ritual ceremony to appease the spirit of death haunting the pool. If we continue to cast a blind eye to the pool, people will continue to drown in unclear circumstances," said Kadumbo.

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