Earlier today, 21 January 2019, Zimbabwe's High Court sat to hear the case against the Internet shutdowns brought by Zimbabwean Lawyers for Human Rights and MISA Zimbabwe, an organisation that promotes access and the free flow to information. The main point was on how the state used Zimbabwe's Interception of Communications Act.
Both MISA Zimbabwe and ZLHR argued that Zimbabwe's Minister of State in the President's office did not have the authority to issue any directives under the Interception of Communications Act for the shutting down of the Internet or social media, they added that such a directive can only legally be issued by the President of the country, currently, Emerson Mnangagwa. As a result of this, Justice Owen Tuga, Judge of Zimbabwe's High Court, ruled that the Internet and social media shutdowns in Zimbabwe were illegal and have now been reversed.
"The court has ruled that Minister of State does not have the authority to issue any directives. This means that the directives to shutdown the Internet are now reversed! The court did not rule on the constitutionality of the Interception of Communications Act today." reads a statement by MISA Zimbabwe.
This a developing story and we will update it as new developments are known.
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Cover image credit: Zimbabwe's High Court.