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In the wake of deadly protests against a fuel price hike, and an ongoing internet shutdown in Zimbabwe, the United Nations has urged the government to stop “excessive use of force” by security forces including firing live ammunition.
The government has said three people died during demonstrations that broke out on Monday after President Emmerson Mnangagwa raised fuel prices by 150 percent.
Lawyers and activists say the toll was much higher and that security forces used violence and carried out mass arrests to quell the unrest.
The internet was cut off earlier this week, with critics saying the government sought to prevent images of its heavy-handedness in dealing with protesters from being broadcast around the world.
Leading mobile operator Econet Wireless said the government had ordered it to shut down services.
“We were served with another directive for total shutdown of the internet until further notice,” Econet said in a statement.
“Our lawyers advised that we are required to comply with the directive pending the court’s decision on its legality.”
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Friday’s fuller internet shutdown also affected emails.
Due to the shutdown, Harare banks were providing only partial services and no cash machines were working, a witness said, while long queues formed at petrol stations and shops.
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