Harare – The Zimbabwe government on Wednesday blocked the Whatsapp service to its citizens as the country’s workers heeded calls for a stay away dubbed the” national shut down” to put pressure on the regime in power in the Southern African country for almost four decades.
By 7am it was no longer possible to send or receive Whatsapp messages on any of the country’s mobile telecommunication networks, in a move subscribers blamed on the government, which in turn blamed the social network for spreading falsehoods and inciting people to protest.
Only those using Wi-Fi had access beyond 7am but they too were shut out by mid-morning.
Minister for Information, Communication Technology and Courier Services Supa Mandiwanzira denied any government interference in the Whatsapp service, saying government had no reason to ban or block the use of the service because of a few individuals who abused the platform.
The youthful minister said it could have been just a network problem as he was communicating on his Whatsapp with his colleagues.