Zimbabwe High Court ruled that the government exceeded its mandate in ordering an internet blackout during civilian protests last week, while the authorities blamed for the unrest the opposition politicians.
In his interim ruling, High Court Judge Owen Tagu ordered mobile operators to resume full services “immediately and unconditionally“. The biggest, Econet Wireless, compiled with the order late on January 21, it said in a message to its clients.
There was no immediate response from the government legal services on whether they would appeal the court judgment.
Police admitted three people died during the unrest, but lawyers and human rights groups reveal the evidence suggesting at least a dozen victims, while scores were treated for gunshot wounds in hospitals, and hundreds have been held on public order charges.
A several leaders of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are in hiding, and accused President Mnangagwa , nicknamed Crocodile, of seeking to “dismantle” the party, the spokesman for the MDC said.
Zimbabwe suffered an internet paralysis on January 18 as a result of the authorities extended communications ban to exchange emails after days of deadly protests over fuel price increases.
According to the governmental sources three people died during demonstrations that broke out on January 14 as a reaction on President Emmerson Mnangagwa decision to augment fuel prices by 150%.
NGOs and activists say the death toll was much higher and that security forces used arms and carried out mass arrests to quell the unrest. According to the NGOs there were 12 deaths, 78 gunshot injuries, 46 cases of vandalism & looting, 242 cases of assault, torture, & dog bites, 466 arbitrary arrests & detentions.
Flows of injured people streamed into a hospital in the capital after the clashes with security.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government shut down the internet connections and SMS services across the country for a second day while the citizens are waiting for the results of the presidential elections.
The government insists the measure in necessary to avoid “popular uprising“, contesting the results to be declared. The opposition accused government in an attempt to silence the descent.