Social media blocked as protests continue in Zimbabwe

In the aftermath of clashes between security forces and protesters that left five people dead in Harare, the Zimbabwean government has partially blocked access to social media and the internet.

According to tech blog, TechZim, the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has been ordered to shut down internet services. “The telecom systems have been jammed. We don’t have the equipment to do it — so you can guess who did it,” an employee at a Zimbabwe mobile service provider in Harare speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP.

Media rights group MISA Zimbabwe tweeted that it had received reports of disruption from users of mobile operators TelOne and NetOne.

Although social media users have continued tweeting updates from the country, others are complaining of a marked disruption or lag in services particularly on WhatsApp, Facebook and certain news sites.

READ MORE: Five ways to bypass social media bans

On Monday, workers under the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions began a national stayaway in protest against a recent increase in the price of fuel, and the protracted economic meltdown the country is going through. The streets of the capital, Harare, were deserted on Tuesday as many feared bloody reprisals from security forces.

At midnight on Saturday, petrol price went up from $1.24 per litre to $3.31, while the price of diesel increased from $1.36 to $3.11.

State security minister Owen Ncube confirmed that five people had been killed in clashes between demonstrators and security forces who opened fire into crowds of civilians, much like the deadly post-election violence of August 2018. Ncube added that more than 200 people have been arrested.

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Kiri Rupiah
Kiri Rupiah is the online editor at the Mail & Guardian.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Sisulu rejects Ramaphosa’s ‘apology in her name’

In a public showdown with the president, the minister promptly distanced herself from his statement that said she apologised for her attacks on the judiciary

SANDF’s condemned-building mess

A 40-year-old army accommodation block housing 500 soldiers was ‘upgraded’ using residents’ recreational fund contributions. But it is dangerous: other high-risk residential flats in the area have been evacuated because of dolomite corrosion.

2021 matrics set new record with a pass rate of...

Most bachelor passes and distinctions in the class of came from female learners

Basic education minister celebrates the top achievers in the class...

Angie Motshekga says 2021’s matrics are in ‘a class of their own’ for having persevered through Covid-19 pandemic for two years

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…