Zimbabwe: Govt Defends Condemned Internet Shutdown

Bulawayo — THE Zimbabwean government has justified a blackout in internet connectivity after days of violent protests by citizens over economic problems.

The Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting argued the Interception of Communications Act provides for the issuing of a warrant to interfere with communications where among other things, public safety or national security is threatened.

"An unknown number of anarchists attacking everything and everyone is a national security threat," the ministry stated.

The network cuts, condemned by rights groups, were part of a repressive strategy by the administration after countrywide demonstrations greeted a sharp increase in fuel prices.

Internet connectivity has been restored.

"Internet seems to have been restored in some networks in Zimbabwe. This after a 28 hour Internet blackout," the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)-Zimbabwe stated.

MISA-Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights had on Wednesday filed an urgent chamber application challenging the suspension of internet services by service providers following a directive issued by Minister of State for State Security, Owen Ncube.

Former information minister and now government critic, Prof Jonathan Moyo, lambasted Zimbabwe for the blackout.

"The rogue authorities who unconstitutionally shutdown the Internet in Zimbabwe in gross violation of basic human rights to cover up their atrocities should not for a minute think they've done anyone a favour by restoring the internet. Consequences must follow," he tweeted.

Zimbabwe is the fourth African country to block internet access after Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon and Sudan.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: CAJ News

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.