OUR main story in today’s NewsDay Business section makes sad reading.
Just as we thought the hyped foreign currency auction system introduced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in June was starting to stabilise our volatile currency, we were surprised again to learn that the cost of living for a family of six increased to $22 976 in November.
It is common knowledge that very few of Zimbabwe’s last two million formally employed citizens earn that much.
Even if they did, the crisis is such that by the end of December, the figure will rise again.
But most employers have no capacity to increase salaries at the same pace as the rocketing cost of living.
They can only do so at their own peril. An inflationary surge that twins the price hikes can easily throw those that try to meet workers half way out of business.
This is where our problem with government starts.
For many months, we have been promised that a series of ad hoc interventions made by the State would arrest economic decline and stop the suffering. Government has not just been talking.
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It has supported its promise with glossy economic data to make people believe that something good is coming out of the propaganda.
We think Zimbabweans must stop trusting this data any more. It is misleading, the deception levels are just too high.
People have been told that inflation is declining, but prices are rampaging.
Struggling industries have been promised money to help address the economic crisis, but they have received nothing.
Cities have been promised money to help them pump clean water to residents, but they have received nothing, hence the sustained outbreak of diseases.
We are worried that government has not been telling citizens the truth about the economic climate, and the reason behind this culture of secrecy boggles the mind.
How then can businesses and people plan if the data they are getting is inaccurate?
We don’t have to look far to see the results of this bad culture. Firms are collapsing, even though government denies it.
People are losing jobs, and those that have tried to go into business have ended up on the streets because to start with, they set up operations based on wrong data. Surely, someone must be held to account for deception.