OPAQUE beer distributors have opened a new route to Chingwere cemetery where they deliver packaged Chibuku to illegal alcohol traders at the graveyard.
Some mourners found at the graveyard expressed concern at the presence of a truck offloading Chibuku to some retailers at the cemetery, saying the act promoted bad behaviour among youths.
Ms Margaret Nkhata of Kanyama accused the Lusaka City Council of failing to properly manage the graveyards which had been turned into drinking sites by some unruly youths including female adolescents attending relatives and friends’ funeral programmes.
“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.
She explained that it was becoming common nowadays that people attending burials normally remained at the makeshift bars drinking instead of witnessing the funeral proceedings.
She charged that if council staff were around some of the vices would have been eliminated especially where young boys and girls were seen drinking without fear of being reprimanded.
And one of the traders Alex Mapipo of Chunga compound explained that trucks started delivering beer at the graveyard after they 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.
“At least those with orders are buying right here instead of hiring transport to go to Matero. Now we just wait for the trucks and you buy what you want,” he said.
He explained that they were not allowed to erect structures for the business, but used their own cooler boxes and old fridges and wooden crates for storage during sales.
But mourners talked to said it was unfortunate that such a sacred place was now being turned into a marketplace with beer as a source of pleasure.
Jack Musendo said the solemnity of the graveyard was polarized by people drinking beer even to the level of stupor.
Several mourners complained about the growing market at graveyards especially Chingwere cemetery where beer sales and beer drinking have become the order of the day.