As part of his reforms “reforms” and “rebasings” Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube put a blanket ban on the reporting of annual inflation figures. Which means National Statistical Agency has not publicly annual circulated inflation figures. The ban is supposed to last until the end of the month.
Lawyer Tendai Biti representing National Social Security Authority Workers Union (NSSAWU), a labour union and Zimbabwe Pension and Insurance Rights Trust (ZPIRT) argued before Masvingo High Court judge, Justice Sunsley Zisengwe, that the measures by the Finance Minister were illegal and against the spirit of transparency as enshrined in the constitution.
NSSAWU argued that it had a legitimate right to know what the annual inflation figures were since it uses the information to negotiate with employers a fair wage on behalf of its members. Something it was now finding hard to do.
The truth is that inflation figures are needed by a lot of businesses within an economy. Whatever benefit, if any, that the country is getting from “hiding” these figures is outweighed by the need to know.