Zimbabwe’s Internet Shuts Down Following Fuel Hike Protests

By  |  January 15, 2019

According to an array of breaking reports, Zimbabwe’s entire internet has been shut down from all angles.

Another Social Media Ban?

Due to reasons best known to the now-in-Russia President Mnangagwa’s administration, the entire social media and internet of Zimbabwe have been shut down, temporarily perhaps. Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook activities from the country are now an impossibility, even further enraging citizens who claim to have been infringed times one too many.

TechZim reported recently that several internet service providers received directives from the government on Monday evening to block access to some social media services. Subsequent relations are suggestive that Econet and Telone have suspended their internet access entirely, which means VPN workarounds are impossible.

While Twitter is yet believed to be partially unaffected for reasons experts can unravel, the social media ban was imposed by Econet – Zimbabwe’s largest mobile operator, TelOne and ZOL – an ISP firm. Sine Econet is Zimbabwe’s elephant connectivity provider, more than 75 percent of Zimbabweans has been denied internet access.

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Thanks To The Protests!

The government of Zimbabwe, under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has blocked citizens’ access to Whatsapp, Facebook, and Twitter across all the mobile and fixed telecoms networks in the country. What started as a social media restriction had now metamorphosed to become a total internet shutdown, as measures to follow the recent violent protests across the troubled Southern African nation.

The strong and disruptive public demonstrations were the result of the hiked fuel prices by the government recently. Zimbabwe is now the most-priced fuel seller in the world, thanks to the continuations of economic crunches and soaring prices. The president said the fuel increase was a move to tackle shortages brought on by a rise in fuel use and rampant illegal trading.

The national stay-away is reported to have officially kicked off on Monday after the fuel price went up by 120 percent, sparking panic buying and disgruntled comments on social media.

Bring Back Mugabe!

Zimbabwe’s social media went into an overdrive with memes and hashtags that suggested the call-back of ex-president Mugabe. After the president made the hike announcement, it seems citizens started growing nostalgic over Mugabe’s administration. The self-resigned leader, through his 37-year power stint in Zimbabwe, never took to the press or appeared on air to announce a fuel hike. The Mugabe calls subsequently waned as citizens recalled his policies.

While the new oil pricing is seen by many as the start of a tough year under the new president, the Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Energy, Mutodi, too to his twitter handle to give tips on how to survive the fuel crisis. But this seemed to stir even more discontent, as Zimbabweans increasingly expressed their dissatisfaction with the entire arrangement.


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