Zimbabwe faced intermittent internet connectivity during the early hours of the morning around 9 -11 am causing many to believe that the government had ordered a complete switch off or censorship against the ongoing stay away in most cities, towns, industrial and residential areas.
Some rumors doing circles alleged that state owned ISP and IAPs like TelOne and Powertel had been ordered to completely block the internet, while millions reportedly could not have Whatsapp connectivity.
Speaking to the minister of ICT Postal and courier services, Hon Supa Mandiwanzira, he vehemently denied the government involvement in the glitch or any orders to any IAP to switch off or block access to social network.
“We have no business giving credibility to rumors. Government has more important things to do than undermine its own interests. We, as Govt, are responsible for the phenomenal growth in mobile penetration and uptake of social media services. We can’t ban our success. Anyone suggesting or peddling such falsehoods is an agent of regime change”
While some users may have confirmed no connectivity, it is was not clear which ISPs were completely blocked, or maybe just a technical glitch on one of the ISPs.
Some users however professed ignorance of the internet shutdown, while admittedly. They may have been intermittent connectivity issues, coinciding with the stay away, a move which TelOne confirmed this morning.
However the state Regulator, Potraz had already warned masses against social network abuse notifying the would be perpetrators that they will be booked down. We do not know what kind of technology they would use to link the number and the messages on social network since millions of messages are pushed as forwarded messages and Facebook, YouTube and Instagram does not link any number.
It looks like the focus is only limited to Whatsap which they can only intepret traffic not content unless they are part of the conversation.