By BLANDINA KILAMA
On a normal day, Mama Rehema finances her vitumbua (rice cakes) business using savings from previous sales. She supplements that with an occasional loan from Doto, who supplies her with ingredients for the rice cakes.
The little profit she makes from the business is used to run her household.
Mama Rehema has dutifully maintained good relationships with Doto, always ensuring that she pays what she owes him in good time.
Recently, however, her mother fell sick – and Mama Rehema used her meagre savings to care for her. By the time her mother had recovered, Mama Rehema had exhausted her savings, and was unable to pay what she owed Doto.
In the event, she pleaded with her creditor, and renegotiate their credit terms.
But, misfortunes never come singly. While Mama Rehema was away nursing her sick mother, the price of rice – the main ingredient for the rice cakes – shot up on the back of a global shortage of the commodity.