I cannot continue giving out handouts in terms of empowerment to women because very few women have plans of what to do with the money, Mandevu PF member of parliament Jean Kapata says.

And Kapata says she stocks mealie-meal at her constituency office to help out bereaved families in Mandevu, as buying coffins for every funeral house was too costly.

Speaking when she featured on a One Love Radio programme, Friday, Kapata who is Lands Minister also stressed the need for government to regulate the manufacturing, packaging and consumption of liquor packs locally know as tujiji-jili.

“In the past we have given some clubs money and what is disappointing really is that when you go to do a check, we have given cheques in the past and I am sure you are aware that we allowed even from CDF to give a bit of money to people so that they can do business [but] personally I feel that I cannot continue giving out handouts in terms of empowerment to women because very few women understood what they planned to do,” Kapata said.

“When you ask most of them, [you hear] ‘no, this and that happened, no somebody ate the money’ and all sorts of excuses. I have not just stopped at that but I personally gave out second hand clothes to women that I see that are very vulnerable, they come looking for school fees, they are widows, whatever, I do give second hand clothes for them to start a small business for themselves. But even that, when you follow them up, the ones that have collected bells of second hand clothes, you find that once they make money…I think what we need to do is to teach them how to save because others eat even the capital itself.”

Kapata also said that she keeps mealie-meal at her office in order to help out bereaved families in her constituency.

“We keep mealie-meal to give because having a funeral is a very difficult moment. So when somebody dies, people come to the office and collect mealie-meal. We have partners that help us buy that mealie-meal and sometimes we also buy it. So we stock mealie-meal for funerals only in Mandevu because we can’t afford to buy coffins for everybody but at least we can afford to give them food,” Kapata said.

And Kapata said there was need for government to regulate tujili-jili because the liquor was making youths unproductive in communities.

“I think we need to do a step further as government. Remember there was a ban on the so-called tujili-jili and I think the volume of those sachets was something like 20 mls or somewhere there. Now the same tujili-jili have emerged in a bigger bottle and I think that the government can still regulate the volume of Tujili-jili, maybe we take it up to somewhere around 750ml because you know our children just buy and also you can’t allow every small kantemba [to be selling those jujili-jili. The reasons why we have those tuntembas is for things like washing powder and the like, but I think we have allowed those tuntembas to also sell alcohol in those junta bottles all over. The markets are no longer places where you just go and buy vegetables, tomatoes and a bit of groceries. [This time] in the market you find people selling alcohol and we need to regulate that,” said Kapata.