Social Media platform Whatsapp, apparently claims 44.2 percent of internet usage in Zimbabwe as the government take measures to monitor internet usage on allegations of causing “panic buying” and “fake news”.
According to a Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) report, WhatsApp and Facebook accounted for 44.2% and 1.8% respectively of the total internet and data usage in the second quarter of the year.
“The introduction of social bundles such as WhatsApp and Facebook bundles by operators has driven the popularity and usage of these social networks in the country,” states the report.
“All the mobile operators registered an increase in data usage. The rise in social media has contributed to the increasing data and internet usage”.
Statistics on internet usage come as the government is working on the cyber bill stating that it is to protect the people amid fears of a ploy to secretly monitor citizens.
The government also created a ministry to deal with cybersecurity as the Minister of Information Communications Technologies (ICTs) and Couriers Services, Supa Mandiwanzira states that the cyber bill will be implemented before 2018.
“People don’t trust the government, they think we want to get access to their privacy and listen to the conversations and yet we want to protect them,” said Minister Mandiwanzira.
The “panic buying” that took place in Zimbabwe saw prices going up in retail outlets with citizens stacking basic goods with fears of commodity shortages similar to the 2008 era.
Whatsapp has got an end to end encryption that denies a third part to view messages.
The social platform becomes popular in Zimbabwe as the Mobile Internet data usage went up by 15.8% to record 3,112,416GB from 2,688,410GB recorded the previous quarter.