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Zimbabwe cuts the Internet indefinitely during violent degradation



  People arrested during protests are waiting to appear in the Harare Magistrate's Court on January 16, 2019 Copyright
Reuters

Caption

Hundreds of people have been arrested during the crash in this week

Zimbabwe has closed the Internet indefinitely with an intensifying degradation of protests against a rise in fuel prices.

The country's largest mobile operator ̵

1; Econet – says it has been tasked to cut services so far.

Access to Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter has been intermittently blocked since protests broke out on Monday.

At least three people have been killed and 600 people have been arrested.

  • Africa Live: More about this story and others from the continent
  • Despair, anger and anxiety in Zimbabwe's fuel queue

The UN has urged the government to halt the "excessive use of force" by security forces, including the shooting of live ammunition and allegations about door-to-door searches and battles at night.

"Doctors' associations say more than 60 people were treated at the hospital for bullet wounds, this is not a way of responding to the public's expression of economic complaints," said Reuters news agency, UN human rights spokesman Ravina Shamdasani.

The government has blamed the opposition and the political rights groups for the protests.

Why has the fuel price increased?

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the increase was aimed at addressing deficiencies caused by an increase in fuel consumption and "violent" illegal trade.

But the movement has angered many who feel the president, who is on a tour of Russia and the Asian countries this week, fails to live up to his promises after his election last year in disputed polls.

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Media function Roads were barred by protesters earlier this week

Riot police have collided with protesters in the capital, Harare and the southern city of Bulawayo after they had lit fires and blocked roads using rocks. Some companies and schools in the two cities have been closed during the protests.


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  • Reality check: Tax "gossip" on the Internet
  • How African governments block social media

The president is struggling to revive the economy that is experiencing high inflation while wages have stagnated.

The South African nation is facing a severe dollar shortfall in dollars and confidence in bond issues, which can only be traded in Zimbabwe, is low.

Bonds or "bollars" are supposed to be the same as the dollar, but have lost value due to lack of foreign currency supporting the bill and are now worth much less than a dollar.

The fuel rise means that petrol prices rose from $ 1.24 (£ 0.97) a liter to $ 3.31, with diesel up from $ 1.36 a liter to $ 3.11.

The new prices mean that Zimbabwe now has the most expensive fuel in the world, according to GlobalPetrolPrices.com


How can the government turn off the Internet?

By Chris Fox, technology reporter

Whether you get online via the telephone line at home or access to the Internet over a mobile network, the sites you visit must go through your ISP (ISP) before they come to you.

It is therefore easy for the government to order ISPs to close access to certain services and websites or the entire Internet.

Econet says this is what has happened in Zimbabwe: it has been ordered to block access for its subscribers.

This is not the first time internet service providers have been ordered to block services. In 2016, a judge in Brazil ordered ISPs to block access to WhatsApp after the owner Facebook did not provide information requested in criminal investigation.

In the UK, ISPs are regularly encouraged to block access to sites offering movies and music for download illegally.


On Thursday, the prominent activist Evan Mawarire, who called for a protest against the home of social media, was allowed to undermine the government, a crime leading up to 20 years in prison. [19659007] He gained fame as a play by #ThisFlag's protests against former President Robert Mugabe in 2016.


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