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Amid Civil Unrest, Internet Shutdowns are Making Zimbabwe’s Economic Crisis Worse

By Kudzai Chimhangwa

Following the January 12 declaration of an official fuel price hike in Zimbabwe, civil unrest and political paranoia has rocked the nation.

President Emmerson Mnanagagwa announced that fuel prices at $1.30 USD per liter would go up by 150 percent, making Zimbabwe’s fuel among the most expensive in the world. The next day he left for a five-day tour of Russia and Eastern Europe, purportedly in search of investment deals. Chaos and anarchy broke out the following Monday.

The military was immediately deployed to quell protests after angry mobs looted and set ablaze several supermarkets and chain stores. Reports of state agents gunning down unarmed civilians circulated on social media before the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) completely shut down the Internet and all forms of social media from January 14-January 20, 2019.

During the 6-day Internet blackout, business literally came to a halt as traders and investors remained uncertain over the economy’s trajectory.

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High court rules ‘no’ on Internet shutdown

Following State Security minister Owen Ncube’s decision to shut down the Internet, human rights

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