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Zimbabwe’s largest internet services provider Econet on Wednesday confirmed that it had halted users’ internet access on government orders.
This comes after protests erupted across the country this week after a record fuel price increase was announced on Saturday.
“We are obliged to act when directed to do so,” the company told its customers.
Additionally, a screenshot of a now-deleted Facebook post made by Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa, spotted by Zimbabwean publication Techweez, confirmed that “failure to comply would result in three years imprisonment of local management”.
Media watchdog MISA Zimbabwe also confirmed that Econet was ordered by the government to halt service.
On Wednesday, the Southern African country entered its second day of internet blockages, after access to WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter was halted on Tuesday. Users on Zimbabwe’s other networks also reported internet access issues.
Internet disruption tracking service NetBlocks noted that even Pinterest and Tinder was inaccessible within Zimbabwe on Tuesday.
Nonetheless, the hashtags #ShutdownZimbabwe, #KeepItOnZw, and #SwitchBackOnZw continue to trend on Twitter, as those within the country who can access the internet plead with the world to take note.
It’s not clear when Zimbabwe’s connection to the internet — and in essence, the world — will be restored.
Feature image: Pixabay