How Zimbabwe’s Internet shutdown negatively affected businesses

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How Zimbabwe’s Internet shutdown negatively affected businesses

How Zimbabwe's Internet shutdown negatively affected businessesJudge Owen Tagu ordered that network operators immediately restore unrestricted access.

The Zimbabwean government appears to have shot itself in the foot with the shutdown of the internet following violent protests.

This comes amid estimations that the already dire economy was losing over US$5 million daily due to the interruptions.

The internet shutdown by government has had an adverse impact on business operations in various sectors of the economy as monitored by grisglobal.org.

Effect on Tourism

Zim’s Tourism Business Council, Chief Executive Paul Matamisa, disclosed in an interview that the cost of the internet shutdown on tourism was felt through failed bookings and lost marketing opportunities.

“There is no way we can calculate now the damage that has occurred to the industry due to the lack of internet connectivity,” Matamisa said. “The damage will only be reflected in the next few weeks and in the next few months where gaps in revenue will appear because of the lost business.”

He said the internet shutdown made the task of marketing the country to tourists very difficult which resulted in lost opportunities and the possibility that the country lost potential tourism business to other source markets.

Pharmaceutical Services

The pharmaceutical Society has also raised concerns. President Portifa Mwendera revealed that the internet shutdown hampered medical aid clients’ access to health services.

“What mainly affected us was that the software we use which is linked to medical aid societies stopped functioning due to the internet shutdown,” Mwendera said. “This meant that transactions could not go through between pharmacies and medical aid societies.”

He said this meant patients who use medical aid were turned away or had to fork out money to receive treatment.

Mwendera said the shutdown of the internet further burdened the pharmaceutical company, which is reeling from an acute foreign currency shortage.

Communication

President of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries Sifelani Jabangwe, said the internet shutdown had resulted in the breakdown of communication between suppliers and customers.

He said, although they understood the government’s reason for the shutdown of the internet, the decision had negatively impacted the transit of various goods.

Although the shutdown was not only costly in quantitative terms, it also had a major bearing psychologically.

Loss of internet connectivity meant people could not transact for essentials like purchasing electricity tokens. The loss as a result of this shutdown is not only quantifiable but it also has a psychological cost.

The shutdown we believe will have had a huge cost on the Zimbabwe’s revenue  as most the Revenue Authority’s transactions are based on the internet.

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