Ranganai Maparamhaka of Nyamhunga suburb said: ” We have had an increased number of people being killed by crocodiles of late and this year seems to be the worst so far.”
Maparamhaka has been living in the resort town for the past 15years.
Another resident, Chipo Mukai, also of Nyamhunga, added that the crocodiles were in ”revenge mood” as last year people were forced to eat crocodile meat due to hunger that gripped Zimbabwe during its economic decay over the political impasse between Zimbabwe’s major parties.
”Crocodiles are in revenge mood as last year their meat was the only cheap relish we could afford here," she said. The meat popularly known as stali here was the cheapest for the majority.
Although, a delicacy among the tourists, its almost taboo to eat crocodile meat in most parts of Zimbabwe.
A police officer based in Mahombekombe confirmed they had received reports of at least three deaths weekly from mainly fishmongers killed by crocodiles in Lake Kariba.
Fishing, is the major source of income, among the un-employed. Zimbabwe’s un-employment rate is estimated to be more than 80 percent.
However, an official with National Parks, said the organisation no longer destroyed unhatched crocodile eggs as they used to do. This was done to control crocodile population in the biggest man-made lake that generate power to the country.
”We used to destroy unhatched crocodile eggs and it was a move aimed at curbing crocodile over-population in the lake but its no longer the case due to resources constraints in the department. Another factor that has seen the crocodiles targettng fishmongers is due to lack of food in the lake,” said a junior officer.