THE highly intoxicating illicit brew packed in sachets popularly known as ‘‘Tujilijili’’, have resurfaced on the market and are being sold at Old Leopards and Chingwere cemeteries in Lusaka.
Some mourners at Old Leopards Hill cemetery expressed concern at the presence of the illicit brew banned by Government two years ago, saying the alcohol’s major source was Bauleni compound.
Kelvin Kasambala from State Lodge area explained that it was becoming common nowadays to find some mourners attending burials at the makeshift bars drinking instead of witnessing the funeral proceedings.
He called on the Lusaka City Council to ensure the illegal sale of beer at cemeteries was eradicated because it was giving the country a bad name, especially where young boys and girls were seen selling beer without fear of being reprimanded.
“This is not right that even these beer companies are now sending trucks with loads of Chibuku to sell to traders at graveyards.
“Where is the council who should be here so that they patrol the grounds to bring an end to the beer trade in graveyards?” she said.
Ms Enelesi Zimba of Chilenje accused the council of failing to properly manage the graveyards which had been turned into shebeens by some unruly youths.
Ms Zimba said it was unfortunate that such a sacred place was now being turned into a marketplace with beer as a source of pleasure.
Gasper Ngulube from Chaisa said the solemnity of the graveyard was being spoiled by people drinking beer, even to the level of stupor.
Mr Ngulube called on Lusaka City Council and other law enforcers to curb the ever increasing sale of Tujilijili at cemeteries.
Several mourners complained about the growing unruly conduct at graveyards especially Chingwere cemetery where beer sales and beer drinking have become the order of the day.
And one of the traders Mabvuto Tembo of Chunga compound explained that he started selling beer at the graveyard after he noticed the growing market there.
“Instead of people going far to drink beer, some traders started bringing beer nearby and now distributors have started bringing the stuff close by also,’’ he said.
LCC public relations manager Habeenzu Mulunda called on people with information to come forward to help the council trace the origin of the alcohol.
Mr. Mulunda said Kachasu, Tujilijili and other illegal ‘‘wines’’ have been banned and those trading in them would face the wrath of the law.
Mr Habeenzu said LCC was doing everything possible to ensure that all those involved in the sale of illicit alcohol were brought to book.
He said there was need for Zambia Revenue Authority to ensure that they put stringent measures on the borders where most of the illicit liquor was being smuggled into the country.
He said it was hard for the council to trace the origin of the illegal brews because they were only confined in Lusaka and not any other town.
Mr Mulunda said the council needed to cooperate with other stakeholders to bring sanity in Lusaka especially in places like Chibolya, Misisi and Bauleni townships. Tujilijili, a highly intoxicating alcohol popular among unemployed youths, was banned by then Minister of Local Government and Housing Nkandu Luo under the administration of President Michael Sata after an outcry from the public that it was promoting alcoholism especially among the unemployed, youths and women.