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President Mnangagwa Justifies Internet Shut Down, Although “He Deeply Believes In Freedom Of Speech And Expression”

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President Emmerson Mnangagwa

If you were thinking that President Mnangagwa was going to regret or repent for last week’s decision to switch off the internet, then you are in for a disappointment. Although he “believes deeply in the freedom of speech, the Presidents said it was justified in shutting down the internet as social media was being used to plan protests and spread incendiary information. On his Twitter account the President said;

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I believe deeply in freedom of speech and expression, and these rights are enshrined in our constitution. You only need to look at a newspaper or read my social media comments to see the level of criticism I get, and I welcome this. What we saw last week was the social networks being used to plan and incite disorder and to spread misinformation leading to violence. In response, the decision was taken to temporarily restrict access to prevent the wanton looting and violence, and to help restore calm. I am aware of the criticism of this decision, and we did not take it lightly. The measures were temporary, tactical and aimed at restoring the peace. This has been achieved, all restrictions have been removed and I look forward to continuing to freely engage on social media.

It seems like a contradiction in terms when he says believe in freedom of speech and at the same time justifying the shutting down of the internet, the medium through which the people express their ‘speech’ and ‘expression’.  Zimbabwe is not the first country that has experience protests like the #ShutdownZimbabwe. Late last year, France’s citizens conducted nationwide protests after a fuel price hike but it didn’t lead its government to switch off the internet. Venezuela too recently held protests but its government never switched off the internet. What’s so special about Zimbabwe? President Mnangagwa’s government decision was probably too harsh and certainly contrary to his ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra.

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Also Read: President’s Spokesperson Says Don’t Believe Everything Coming From Mnangagwa’s Twitter Account

Also Read: Confusion On Twitter: Who Really Speaks For President Mnangagwa?


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12 thoughts on “President Mnangagwa Justifies Internet Shut Down, Although “He Deeply Believes In Freedom Of Speech And Expression”

  1. What else does he believe in but does not do, EVERYTHING about human life. Now he strongly believes that his more than doubling of the fuel price was justified because the fuel queues have reduced and buses are carrying people to work, but until when? Armed solders are now manning the busses and fuel stations and demolishing peoples’ infrastructure? Is there still any debate about Zimbabwe now a militarised authoritarian regime that calls itself a democracy??????

    1. The whole issue of blocking the internet was meant to allow wanton brutalisation of citizens during dark hours when noone could take fotos and expose the brutality. Secondly black boots and Fifth Brigade were instructed to get into communities whilst wearing civilian clothes to disguise themselves as civilians. Also to allow both police and army to lue that they were not from uniformed forces. Funny enough that soldiers exposed these lies. These animals live with same communities renting. They buy at same unwarranted prices like suffering people. Which means they are grossly affected. Now it will come to a point that noone will have them rent in locations. Over all internet was meant to hide murdering peoplr to world. Zanu pf elements was heavily involved in killing people in addition to identify workers & opposition members. These are given dagga first. It waa a deliberate move. Even breaking shops would be started by uniformed & Zanu pf then all community with stealing tendencies follow. Likewise most killed were from work. At nite they then entered houses beating, raping, killing & stealing from innocent citizens. This will never bring investers except Chinese & Russians wjo have given our resources. Now Zanu leaders are afraid of people rising against their own businesses.

  2. The difference in Zimbabwe’s protests and that of France and Venezuela is that. The protests in Zimbabwe where not peaceful protests shops where looted and burnt vehicles of civilians and government where burnt teachers where beaten up roads where barricaded. Yet in France and Venezuela it was peaceful protests no looting no violence no destruction

    1. Where are you getting your news from? There are images and videos coming from the protests in France in which there was been violence, looting, burning and vandalism. The only real difference between the protest in France and Zimbabwe is that in France: 1. No internet shutdown 2. No mass arbitrary arrests 3. No door to door vista by the military 4. No military deployment 5. No heavy handiness like torture and rape.

    2. You’re indeed an idiot, the French protests did experience riots. I am not in support of such behaviour but No one was killed in cold blood by the French army, police or law enforcement agencies.

  3. I believe in democracy .. peples rights as inshrined in the red book.. but i fall short of beleivivg in political machivalinations…if democracy is good ..then it must be embraced.. but if it brings chaos then it must be stayed..the french demostrated for 8 weeks.. not one store was broken into..no policeman was killed.. virtually no vandalism.. zim protests for one day.. before 1 hr into protedts a policemen is dead and shops ate loited…it gors like if western democracy is hard to grasp then we need nlt waste time trying tk learn it and apply it simulteniously..the president is weak…if he continues with this weakness he will mot make to mid terms..there are times when people need to know that i a nation there is no one citizen whose vote counts for two.. mnangagwa was squarely chosen by the people.. he should not work to appease but to achieve..the fact that most of those who voted for him live in villages does not mean their vote is less in value than those in towns who voted for nelson. No one stopped nelson from campaigning in villages.. enough is enough.. zimbabwe does not have time for showmanship but for work outright..those who oppose law have a special suburb called chikurubi max…we should not allow provocateurs continue to draw the country back in hope that america will see us as democratic..their lifting of sanctions should respect the vite of zimbabweans not the individual who did not make it through the ballots.. shumba weee be strong and decissive if you want to turn around zimbabwe or abducate for those with the spine for the job..lock the rebels away abd o yoyr job freely..in s.a for the dearth of one policeman at marucana 39 protestants were killed and the international commumity is mum about it to this day… more to follow

  4. Zimbabwe is not yet open for business, we do not have the qualities yet, we quickly get angry, we give wrong solutions to wrong problems. We have made a bad name out there. We make a lot of non productive discussions,. We are 100% non productive, 100% political, and 100% mathemetical and co all we are capable of producing is 100% selfishness. Think of the grannies, the diabled, the young ones, if we keep on stealing and complicating life, how are they going to survive. Whatever you do, do it for Love and God will bless.
    Calculator, internet shutdowns, beating up people, accusing opposition parties, all those are just a good sign of desperation without solution

  5. Talk of a “shut-mind” approach! And then what do the businesses he is trying to woo? What do they think of him now?

  6. I like this guy. He’s a smart guy. I hope if I have power one day, I have the strength to do what this leader has done for the greater good of his nation.

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