Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube, has stubbornly refused to reverse his decision to order government departments from publishing year to year inflation figures for Zimbabwe. These are based on an updated monthly average with each ensuing month added and the oldest month removed from the tally.

A controversial supplementary budget

The supplementary budget presented before Parliament over a week ago had a lot of bizarre provisions. Arguably the strangest of these was that the government will not be publishing inflation for at least the next coming six months.

The official reason by the Finance Minister was that the Zimdollar (ZWL) is still young and therefore conflating data collected during the Multicurrency era and data collected from when the Zim-dollar was introduced is leading to the distortion of inflation figures.

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The government doesn’t like the story inflation figures are telling

Inflation has consistently been going up

The latest reported inflation figure was 175.66% for June. In all the world only Venezuela has higher inflation. It is the highest inflation has risen since the end of hyperinflation back in 2009 when we adopted the multicurrency. Coincidentally or not this rate also comes in the wake of the return of the Zim-dollar.

The government does not like what the inflation figures are saying so they have simply decided to stop reporting them altogether. They might try to spin it however they want but this is a desperate information blackout born of deceitful.

They might try to spin it however they want but this is a desperate information blackout born of deceitful.

Instead the government has obstinately continued to toot its own horn claiming that their austerity measures are taking hold. In a bizarre turn, the Finance Minister used US dollars to prove that his measures are not working.

According to him, prices of goods have fallen in USD terms compared to what they were last year. His only problem is this, the majority of workers, most of them civil servants, continue to earn in RTGS (Zim-dollar) and haven’t seen pay rise in a while.

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