Zimbabwe reportedly turned off the entire country's internet to shut up people protesting its out-of-control economy
JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images
- Zimbabwe's government has reportedly cut off the country's internet, an effort to keep control of increasingly violent protests.
- The largest internet provider in the country, Econet Wireless, told Zimbabwean media they cut off the internet on Friday after they were sent a "directive for total shutdown."
- The media group MISA-Zimbabwe said Zimbabwe was now in a "total internet shutdown."
- President Emmerson Mnangagwa's military forces have violently suppressed widespread protests triggered by a massive hike in fuel prices.
- CNN reported that Zimbabwe is now the most expensive country in the world to fill a car.
The government of Zimbabwe has reportedly launched a "total internet shutdown" in the country to silence people protesting about its chaos-stricken economy.
Officials on Friday ordered Econet Wireless, the country's largest internet provider, to shut down internet access until further notice, the provider told told Zimbabwe's Times.
Eight protestors were killed on Monday in clashes between protestors and the military, caused by rising fuel prices linked to the policies of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa raised the price of fuel as he is trying to sort of the country's woeful economy and currency hyperinflation.
Before the hike the government was effectively subsidising the price of fuel for its citizens, but now Mnangagwa has more than doubled the price to reflect the actual cost of fuel and to try to rebalance the books.
Econet Wireless told Zimbabwe's Times: "We were served with another directive for total shutdown of the internet until further notice."
The internet was also down Wednesday, under government pressure, the Guardian reported.
Zimbabwe's Times said critics said the government "sought to prevent images of its heavy-handedness in dealing with protesters from being broadcast around the world."
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights have launched a court case to stop the government's internet shutdown, British broadcaster ITV reported.
Media company MISA-Zimbabwe said the country was in a "total internet shutdown," according to reporting from the Associated Press (AP).
MISA-Zimbabwe also said they had text messages from Econet staff saying the situation is "beyond our reasonable control," ITV said.
Econet told Zimbabwe's Times: "Our lawyers advised that we are required to comply with the directive pending the court's decision on its legality."
ZINYANGE AUNTONY/AFP/Getty Images
ZINYANGE AUNTONY/AFP/Getty Images
Mnangagwa wrote a Facebook post on Wednesday which said: "Wanton violence and cynical destruction is not the Zimbabwean way."
"I have been deeply saddened by the events in our beloved homeland."
"There can be no justification for violence, against people and property. Violence will not reform our economy. Violence will not rebuild our nation," he wrote.
After protests began, AK-47-wielding security forces rounded up activists and detained religious leaders in a fierce crackdown, AP reported.
A gallon of gasoline increased from $5.60 a gallon to $15.20, and diesel went from $6.20 per gallon to $14.10, CNN reported.
The network said this means Zimbabwe the most expensive country in the world to fill a car.