Following a protest over hike in fuel prices which led to violence, the Government of Zimbabwe has shut down social media.
It was gathered that the Zimbabwean government hiked fuel prices to the highest in the world, amid a continuing economic crunch and soaring prices. Several Internet service providers according to TechZim, received a government directive on Monday evening to block access to some social media services following the violent protest that ensued.
TechZim who advised users who have had their access blocked to install virtual private networking (VPN) software to get around the ban, said many users are unable to access Facebook and the popular Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp. Twitter and Instagram have reportedly also been affected.
A Zimbabwean citizen, Kerry Kay told TimesLIVE;
“For the past three hours we have not been able to access WhatsApp. With the government shutting down the internet and social media, it’s the final straw for human rights.
“The government deployed the army today and they have been assaulting people. The people will retaliate if they are being attacked,” Kay said. She said before the government increased the petrol price, the country was already battling with a shortage of fuel. People were sleeping in queues, but there is no fuel available.”
She said food prices had tripled. “That’s the food imported from South Africa. Cooking oil and russian sausages have not been available for the past month,” Kay said. “In the past, people have managed to survive but now they can’t. Ordinary citizens are battling.”