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First total internet shutdown in Zimbabwe

by Mandla Ndlovu
15 Jan 2019 at 12:37hrs | Views
Zimbabwe on Tuesday experienced its first total internet shutdown since inception. The shutdown came after citizens on Monday used social media to organize protests that left about five people dead and scores injured.

The country's three mobile network operators Econet, Telecel and Netone had no access to internet. The government, Potraz or the service providers have not yet issued a statement to explain the blackout.

Media Institute of Southern Africa said, "Internet in Zimbabwe was shutdown at around noon, local time. VPNs are currently of no use. Voice calls and SMS on the local Mobile Network Operators are still going through."

In 2016 government  blocked access to social media to disrupt strikes organised by #ThisFlag social movement.

A tech magazine TechZim explained the blackout, "Just to clarify, if Econet, Telecel, TelOne and NetOne have blocked access to the whole internet (as they have reportedly done) VPNs actually won't help. VPNs help if access blocked to only certain sites (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook etc..) has been blocked."

Zimbabwe on Tuesday mid morning began to complain about the network being slow before it was eventually shutdown.

The shutdown has affected mobile money services. A victim who spoke to Bulawayo24 said they tried to pay a bill with their Barclays online platform but it was not working. Some residents reported that they are failing to purchase electricity due to the blackout.

On Monday the government warned Zimbabweans against listening to social media reports calling for disruption of business.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions on Sunday called for a three day mass stayaway which ends on Wednesday.

Source - Byo24News