Six fish mongers have drowned in Tokwe Mukosi Dam since President Mugabe officially commissioned it, it has emerged.
Police have hinted the number of illegal businessmen who have drowned could be higher than the officially recorded figure.
It has also emerged the number of people involved in illegal fishing activities has increased sharply as a result of socio-economic hardships. In a bid to beat the worsening economic woes, many people are resorting to fishing for survival.
Mugabe officially commissioned Tokwe Mukosi Dam last month.
Tokwe Mukosi is the largest inland dam in Zimbabwe.
Acting Masvingo Police Spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Kudakwashe Dhewa, said cases of drowning were worrying.
He said there was an increase in the deaths of illegal fish mongers in Tokwe Mukosi Dam and other dams in the province.
The fish poachers use home made canoes thereby exposing themselves to many risks.
“We have received reports of several cases of drowning since the dam was commissioned. There are many people who are carrying out illegal fishing activities at Tokwe Mukosi. It is perilous because most of them are using home made canoes. We are going to increase our patrols around Tokwe Mukosi Dam to combat illegal fishing activities,” said Dhewa.
He said local villagers should apply for fishing permits.
“We urge local villagers to get fishing permits because illegal activities are dangerous,” said Dhewa.
A fish monger who identified himself as Takura said he was realising handsome profits from the fishing activities.