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Zimbabwe suffers all-day internet blackout

06/12/2017 00:00:00
by Agencies

ZIMBABWEANS suffered disruptions in internet services and landline phones Tuesday, leaving many speculating whether the government had tampered with the connection.

The Harare administration has previously threatened a crackdown against social media, and signalled its seriousness in that regard by recently establishing the cyber security department.

The internet outage started at 11:30 and lasted until 17:00 and affected most operators that use Liquid Telecoms Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless Global.

According the Tech Zimbabwe, the shutdown was due to the cutting of cables by a tractor not in Zimbabwe but on the South African side of their common border.

Said a tech website: “A tractor that was ploughing a field in the Limpopo province in South Africa apparently cut through some fibre owned by one of Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe’s suppliers.”

Liquid is said to be Zimbabbwe’s largest internet service provider (ISP). Sister company Econet Wireless Zimbabwe apologised for the outage.

Said the company in a statement, "Econet Wireless apologises to its valued customers for the data outage experienced on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 resulting in customers being unable to access the internet and related data services on our network.”

Services were partially restored as at late Tuesday.

TelOne also issued a statement about the situation saying it was also working to fully restore service to customers.

“TelOne wishes to advise the public of an unexpected interruption on our internet service experienced this afternoon, 5 December 2017.

“This is due to faults that occurred on our main links through South Africa and Botswana. Our back-up link through Botswana has since been restored and together with the link through Mozambique we are operating at 50% capacity,” it said.

Mobile operators in the southern African country were not spared the disruption. Econet Wireless, the largest mobile internet provider, was affected the most. NetOne and Telecel, the other competitors all reported difficulties with internet connections.

The government in officially responding to the situation said it was concerned that people had been gravely affected in their communications.


“We are upset that internet connectivity is not available or has not been available for most of the day,” Cyber Security minister Supa Mandiwanzira told a state media.

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