“I will never trust him. Last time, I gave him Rwf 10,000 after promising to pay as soon as he is paid. Surely the wife was sick; this broke my heart to trust him with the money. Unfortunately, it’s about two months now and he has never paid, not even giving me an explanation, ” these are sometimes the statements used to invite in the third party to settle situations that run-out of hand after people fail to honour their promises.
Trusting is not immediate. It only develops with time after one believes it’s worth trusting somebody. However, one can be forced to trust based on natural and unavoidable situations that human beings face.
Such situations are also what force others to seek trust or help. However, most times for one to ask or give financial help, the two must either be friends, relatives, neighbours or even workmates.
For that, it becomes easy to ask or give out expecting to be paid. Unfortunately, it is also true that others fail to pay their debts and some refuse to lend money.
It’s disappointing to fail to respect a promise to pay after being helped when you are in great need of money. This gives a negative image and attitude about helping others, although not all people may have such intentions.
Despite that, failure to keep a promise may not always be intended, unless explained, it can easily be mistaken as intended.
While many may consider giving their products on credit as a means of creating friendship and encouraging more customers, one Boniface, a businessman in Kigali, looks at it as a danger that creates more enemies and a route losing customers.
He explains that as customers get goods on credit and accumulate a lot of debt, they believe in changing to other distributors. He points out that they start explanations whenever you bump into them on the streets.
“At first these people will pay, but after sometime, they change and instead create stories to portray how they made losses but are still ready to pay. However, they continue dealing with other distributors where they even pay cash but never pay their debts,” he said.
Boniface noted that such people instead become enemies whenever he uses legal means to get his money back. He says that since they (debtors) never understand their mistakes, he made it a policy only to deal with those who pay cash.
“With the experience I have in business, dealing with only those who pay cash has made my business exist to date,” he said.
However, he noted that not all those who ask for goods on credit are bad debtors, stressing that the problem is with those other clients having bad intentions.
In that case, he said that differentiating a good debtor from a bad one challenged him, hence coming-up with what he termed as a safer business strategy.
“Sincerely, others can pay, but realizing who will pay from that that won’t is hard. As a businessman, I therefore came-up with a strategy that I believe can keep me in business,” he said. However he noted, “Of course many are disappointed but with time, they get used and comply with the tradition.”
My friend Ritah is a monthly salary earner. She says trusting a friend, neighbour, workmate or relative is very important. She notes that as you trust, one time you will also be trusted.
Mainly, she stresses on situations when one fulfils his or her promise by paying.
“It strengthens the relationship between the two parties and each one can always provide help whenever possible and necessary,” she noted.
She also believes that almost every individual has a debt to clear either from banks, shop keepers, Land lords and even school fees for children.
However, Ritah noted that upon trusting any one with money she considers it a loss of either the money or the debtor.
“Yes, I have lost many friends because of trusting them with money. However, whenever I lose such a person, I do not regret for either the money or the relationship,” she said. She explained that if a person fails to recognize the service rendered to him or her when in a sorry state, such a person is not a worth being a friend.
“It is far better to do away with such a person before they trouble you again,” she stressed.