(Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwean government
has ordered another complete shutdown of Internet services from
Thursday night to disrupt communication among protesters
demonstrating against fuel price hikes and rising living costs.
The country’s biggest mobile network operator Econet told
subscribers early Friday morning that the government had issued
another order which it had to comply with.
"The earlier directives are already the subject of a pending
High Court application.
"We sincerely apologize for all inconvenience caused by the
acts of government which are beyond our reasonable control," the
This follows an earlier blackout of more than 24 hours
between Tuesday and Wednesday.
Social media platforms including WhatsApp, Twitter and
Facebook remained shut after the government believed that
protesters were exchanging information to carry on with their
However, Internet users could still communicate on WhatsApp
and another platform called Telegram after installing VPNs on
This may have prompted the government to order the second
Most shops remain closed
in Harare City as
Zimbabwe public protests rising fuel prices
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Harare’s city center remained
largely quiet Thursday as many workers stayed at home and many
businesses remained closed.
This followed the violence that erupted in the Zimbabwean
capital and other parts of the country Monday and Tuesday as
Zimbabweans protested against rising fuel prices and cost of
Most retail shops, which closed on Monday as violence flared,
opted to remain closed as owners assessed the situation
following the destruction of property and looting which
characterized the two days of protests.
At least three people, including a policeman, died during the
Both vehicular and human traffic remained thin on Thursday
with a few fruit vendors and illegal money changers milling
around their stations while some motorists queued up for fuel at
Although internet services were restored late Wednesday after
a more than 24-hour blackout, the government directed to keep
social media services blocked.
A notice from the country’s biggest mobile network, Econet,
said the services would remain blocked till further notice.
"Please be advised that the internet is back online under a
directive that Facebook, YouTube , WhatsApp, Twitter will remain
closed until further notice.
"Any inconvenience is sincerely regretted," the mobile
network operator said in a message to subscribers.
Meanwhile, President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday urged
quiet, saying that he understood the frustration and pain many
Zimbabweans were going through as his administration put in
place the fundamentals needed to transform the economy.
In a post on Facebook, Mnangagwa said violence would not
reform the economy and that there was no justification for any
against the people and property.
He said he understood the pain and frustration that many
Zimbabweans were feeling, but resolving Zimbabwe’s economic
challenges was a monumental task and the government was moving
in that direction.
"Wanton violence and cynical destruction is not the
"My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.
"As I have said numerous times, everyone in Zimbabwe has the
right to express themselves freely to speak out, to criticize
and to protest," he said.
Six hundred people have been arrested following Monday’s acts
of hooliganism and looting and the government is urging all
workers to return to work tomorrow as the situation has now
Minister of State Security Owen Ncube said Wednesday evening
that 600 people have been arrested following Monday’s acts of
"hooliganism and looting."
"Security forces have so far arrested 600 people in
connection with these riotous acts, 214 of which have already
appeared in court.
"Our security agents are on the ground monitoring the
situation to ensure that those who want to engage in their
normal business do so without hindrance.
"We are also appealing to all service providers to render
their services to the people of Zimbabwe and in the same vein
urge transport operators to resume carrying passengers, schools
to open and generally for the public to engage in their various
activities freely," the minister said in a television speech.
Ncube also condemned the violence and blamed the MDC Alliance
and some NGOs for the disturbances.
"Government therefore places full responsibility for
compensation for victims of the violence, destruction of
property, injury and loss of life to the MDC Alliance and all
Zimbabwe government meets
public transport operators over fares
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
The Zimbabwean government on Thursday met public
transport operators to agree on a viable fare charging model.
Public transport operators have in recent days hiked fares by
more than 100 percent in response to the increase in prices of
The high fares have seen many people failing to travel to
work and are part of the reason why Zimbabweans embarked on a
three-day nationwide stayaway from Jan. 14-16.
The deputy minister of transport Fortune Chasi told media
that the meeting was aimed at hearing the concerns of the
operators as well as agree on viable fares.
He said the operators indicated that while they were willing
to continue operations, they were also concerned about the
safety of their buses following damage to their assets by
hooligans during demonstrations this week.
The transporters also raised concern on limited fuel supplies
which is hindering efforts to normalize transportation of the
public within the urban and long distance routes.
Chasi said the government will take into account the concerns
raised by the transport operators and in the immediacy, an
agreement was reached over a fare charging model which is,
however, subject to regulatory approval.
"The government has, however, come up with a policy that will
take into account the needs of the travelling public to
facilitate continued operations in the future," said Chasi.
The government also assured transport operators of a
mechanism that will guarantee or facilitate viability of their
operations in light of the need to minimize costs of production.
Belarus eyes strategic
cooperation with Zimbabwe
confirms President Alexander Lukashenko
MINSK Belarus (Xinhua) --
Belarus seeks to gradually establish a strategic
level of cooperation with Zimbabwe and sees significant
potential in the development of bilateral ties, Belarusian
President Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday.
Zimbabwe is an important partner of Belarus in the Southern
African region, and Belarus seeks to gradually reach the highest
strategic level of cooperation with Zimbabwe, Lukashenko said
while meeting his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The Belarusian leader expressed hope that Mnangagwa’s visit
will give impetus to the development of bilateral relations.
He stressed that Belarus is ready to help Zimbabwe overcome
domestic political and economic difficulties.
Lukashenko added that he will visit Zimbabwe with great
pleasure, but before that it is necessary to agree upon and
implement several joint projects.
Mnangagwa said Belarus and Zimbabwe have very close ties.
"My administration and the people of Zimbabwe consider
Belarus as a brotherly country," he added.
Zimbabwe annual inflation
hits new record high of 42 per cent
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe’s annual rate of inflation for December
2018 rose to a new high of 42.09 per cent, up from 31.01 per
cent in November, according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics
The rise was spurred by increases in prices of basic goods,
said the agency.
Monthly inflation slightly receded to 9.01 per cent from 9.2
per cent in November.
The continued rise in inflation is coming against the
background of recent fuel price hikes by more than 100 percent
in a move that is also expected to further add inflationary
pressures in the economy.
South African finance
minister backs new Zimbabwean currency
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
South Africa’s Finance Minister Tito
Mboweni said Wednesday that Zimbabwe is in a good position to
adopt a new currency and South Africa would support its northern
neighbor’s efforts towards economic revival.
"I think the idea of using a new currency in Zimbabwe is a
good one," Mboweni was quoted as saying by African News Agency
as he addressed journalists ahead of his trip to Davos,
Switzerland, for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF).
Mboweni said the use of the U.S. dollar was untenable given
that Zimbabwe was under sanctions, whose removal he said was
central to the country’s economic recovery.
He revealed that South African National Treasury
director-general and the Reserve Bank governor, had met with
their Zimbabwean counterparts in December and had a conversation
about the status of the Zimbabwean economy, the finance and
banking systems, the attempts to reignite the economic health of
The two sides reaffirmed their mutual commitment to working
together to assist Zimbabwe, Mboweni said.
Zimbabwean finance and economic development minister Mthuli
Ncube said last week that the country will have its own currency
within the next 12 months, as government is frantically working
on raising enough foreign currency to anchor it.
Addressing delegates at a "Road to Davos" townhall meeting in
Harare, Ncube said adopting the U.S. dollar or the South African
rand would not solve the country’s macroeconomic problems.
"On the issue of raising enough foreign currency to introduce
the new currency, we are on our way already, give us months, not
years," he said.
Asked to give a timeline on when currency reforms would be
implemented, Ncube said it would be done "in less than 12
An uneasy calm in Harare following protests over fuel