Enlighten us ordinary mortals

IF the Independent is to merit its claim to be the leading business weekly, it should avoid the kind of sloppy writing and misinformation that is the trademark of the government’s propaganda machinery – the Herald, Sunday Mail, ZTV, etc.


I refer to the article by Godfrey Marawanyika, “Prices continue to rise despite inflation dip”, (Independent, April 20).


If the paper does not distinguish between “inflation” and “the rate of inflation” how does it expect us ordinary mortals to do so?


As long as there is “inflation”, prices, by definition, will keep rising. Marawanyika’s opening paragraph: “Although inflation has shown signs of declining in the past four months disposable incomes for consumers are no better as prices of goods continue to skyrocket” would not have been acceptable in an “O” level economics essay. Neither would it have been acceptable in a logic class.


To add further confusion, the same article quotes Zimbabwe Financial Holdings senior economist Best Doroh as stating: “While the prices of goods have been coming down and stabilising it is still too early for consumers to benefit from the decline.”


What have prices been doing -“skyrocketing” as Marawanyika claims or “been coming down and stabilising” as Doroh states? (Ignoring the question of whether “coming down” and “stabilising” are synonymous; or why, if prices have been coming down, “it is still too early for consumers to benefit”?)


By any standard, if the rate of inflation is around 600% (even if slightly less than 600%) per annum, then prices of goods are rising dramatically.

At this time of economic crisis and confusion it is even more important that the Independent’s journalists, columnists and editor adhere to the highest standards of journalism – including a mastery of their subject matter.


Despite the foregoing criticism I shall continue to read and support the Independent. Your positives far outweigh any relatively minor negatives.


Reader,

Harare.