The agony of a small business owner in Dar

18Jul 2018
By Financial Times Reporter
Financial Times
The agony of a small business owner in Dar

A confrontation between a young self-employed entrepreneur and a city health inspector in Dar es Salaam has sparked public outrage and exposed the harsh reality of the country's difficult business environment despite the government's stated reform efforts.

Stumai Simba, a 25-year-old female entrepreneur, took to social media last week to narrate her ordeal after a health inspector allegedly created all manner of obstacles that prevented her from selling her products at the just-concluded Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair, causing her to suffer substantial financial losses.

Stumai, who owns a small food vending business based at the city centre known as Porridge Point, explained how she was barred from selling her porridge and got kicked out of the trade fair grounds under police escort despite being in possession of relevant regulatory permits and licences.

Her tiny stall at the trade fair grounds was raided by a health inspector for three consecutive days from July 7 and she was prohibited from selling food, forcing her to discard hundreds of bowls of uneaten porridge.

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