Reports suggest Zimbabwe has cut off access to social media amid protests

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At the weekend, Zimbabwean president, Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that the fuel price would more than double.

At midnight on Saturday the price of petrol went up from $1.24 per litre to $3.31 while diesel increased to $3.11 from $1.36.

This news did not sit well with Zimbabweans who took to the streets on Monday to protest the price increases. A report from EWN says that the protests turned deadly on Monday.

This morning a number of Twitter users have reported that internet access in Zimbabwe is limited with social media sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter completely inaccessible.

Those that are able to access the aforementioned platforms appear to be using a VPN service which allows users to appear as if they are using the internet from another country.

https://twitter.com/TheYoungAfrican/status/1085085413750931456

While we cannot confirm the shutdown independently we have seen reports that WhatsApp users are not receiving delivery notifications for messages sent to friends and family in Zimbabwe.

It’s also unclear whether the government is responsible for the apparent shut down. That having been said, African leaders have a long history of shutting down access to the internet during times of unrest.

For those with friends or family stuck without access to the internet in Zimbabwe their best bet is to download a VPN. There are a number of free VPNs and even some VPNs that offer a free trial.

TunnelBear offers a free tier that grants you 500MB of access per month. It’s not much but it’s free and will work in a bind. PornHub also offers a free VPN in VPNHub.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.

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