WINDHOEK - The Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ) has condemned Harare for the internet blockade in that country which has affected critical sectors such as health, education and businesses that rely on the internet to transact and operate.
Nigel Nyamutumbu, the programme coordinator of MAZ, told New Era yesterday that the internet blockade is as a result of a directive from the Minister of National Security in the Office of the President.
“Government and private sector have potentially lost revenue as more transactions are done electronically,” said Nyamutumbu.
There was a total shutdown of internet from 12 noon on Tuesday and by yesterday afternoon there was no official communication on when to expect internet connection.
Nyamutumbu said there was speculation that the country would be reconnected by yesterday evening or today.
The internet blockade is not in sync with the government mantra that Zimbabwe is “open for business”, said Nyamutumbu. “Zimbabwe is effectively closed for business.”
Nyamutumbu further said there is a nationwide shutdown of clinics, pharmacies, shops, banks and schools.
“The country has literally shut down,” he added. Further, official reports have it that three people were killed as a result of the protests currently happening in Zimbabwe. However, Nyamutumbu said there are reports from unofficial sources of more people who were reportedly killed, as well as scores being injured. There have also been reports of activists who were arrested, added Nyamutumbu.
AFP news agency reported yesterday that leading Zimbabwean activist Evan Mawarire was detained by police yesterday when he was taken from his house in a widening crackdown after anti-government protests.
The nationwide protests were triggered by the government announcing at the weekend that fuel would more than double in price as the country’s economic crisis deepens
MAZ issued a media statement demanding that the Government of Zimbabwe respects the constitution which guarantees access to information and freedom of expression, among others.
“Section 61 and 62 of the Zimbabwean Constitution guarantees citizens with rights to free expression and access to information, which enables citizens to make informed decisions. Depriving citizens will worsen the crisis,” he said.
Nyamutumbu further said that with the internet blockade the populace is generally not informed of what is happening in the country because there is an information blackout.
“There are growing uncertainties which may lead to alarm and despondency,” added Nyamutumbu.
2019-01-17 09:19:40 30 days ago