OLIVER SAMBOKO writes
KARIBA Town- Internet services shut down has continued for the second day in Zimbabwe after Government issued a warrant ordering the suspension of all internet services.
According to SMS sent to its customers by the country’s biggest mobile provider Econet, the Minister of State in the President’s Office for National Security issued the warrant under the Interception of Communications Act following the unrest in Harare and other parties of the country over the fuel hikes.
Hundreds of Zimbabweans were this week arrested as demonstrators took to the streets in the cities of Harare and Bulawayo, burning tyres to barricade roads and block bus routes.
A check in Kariba town by the Sun Newspaper at service stations found pump price for petrol at $3.31 from $1.24 while diesel was at $3.11 from $1.36.
A further check around Kariba found residents in the resort town going about their daily lives normally. And those spoken to said many motorists will now turn to Siavonga in Zambia for their fuel needs as it was now impossible to afford fuel in Zimbabwe.
Government says fuel price rise is aimed at tackling shortages caused by an increase in fuel use and “rampant” illegal trading.
Zimbabwe, once southern Africa’s food basket , faces severe shortage of foreign currency making it difficult for local companies to purchase raw materials outside the country for their productions.
Meanwhile, the Media institute of southern Africa- Zimbabwe chapter has condemned Government for shutting down Internet services in the country.
The Institute stated that the Interception of Communications Act 2007 cannot be used to justify an Internet shutdown because the Act does not provide for the suspension of any communications but only only provides for the lawful monitoring and interception of communication.
The Government has not specified the duration of the suspension of services but the act provides for 6 months.