Businesswoman Magrate Mapfumo said she paid 35 million Zimbabwean dollars ($5 000) to fly the invisible mermaids to Harare on the advice of musician Edna Chizema, who is on trial for theft by false pretences, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported on Thursday.
Zimbabwe's Shona people believe mermaids are fearsome enchantresses capable of wreaking vengeance on wrongdoers.
Mapfumo testified that she sought Chizema's advice after the theft of her car and a significant amount of cash.
Mapfumo said she also paid for the mermaids to be housed at Harare's plush tourist resort, the Jameson Hotel, and supplied with mobile phones and electrical generators to cope with the Zimbabwean capital's numerous power cuts, the paper said.
"I asked about the names of the mermaids and I was told they were called Emma, Charmaine, Sharvine, Bella and a fifth one who was said to be an Arab mermaid," the Herald quoted Mapfumo as telling the court.
"All the time, she (Chizema) told me I could not see the mermaids as only spirit mediums could do so." - AP