Zambia’s main opposition presidential candidate has called on the for the internet to be restored after it was cut during Thursday’s tightly contested elections.
“We call on Zicta [the communications authority] to immediately unblock the internet so citizens can follow the electoral process and continue with their lives unhindered,” Hakainde Hichilema said in a tweet.
The BBC team in Zambia says WhatsApp is still down and Twitter and Facebook intermittently so.
We call on ZICTA to immediately unblock the internet so citizens can follow the electoral process and continue with their lives unhindered. It's a shame that even the PF who ordered the shutdown are issuing unbridled statements through VPN.
— Hakainde Hichilema (@HHichilema) August 13, 2021
People have been using virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow users to circumvent local restrictions.
Election day passed off largely peacefully, with some isolated incidents of violence.
But President Edgar Lungu, who is seeking a second term, said some violence was reported in the North-Western province, a stronghold of Mr Hichilema, where two people including a ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party chairman were killed.
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“I’m also appalled by the amount of mayhem witnessed in North-Western, some parts of Western, and Southern provinces. Clearly, the elections in these places have not been free and fair,” he tweeted.
He said he had ordered that troops be reinforced in these three provinces. – BBC
I received with shock and great sadness the report about the killing in cold blood of Jackson Kungo, who was my party’s chairman for North-Western Province, and a brother of provincial Deputy Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Chihili.
— Edgar Chagwa Lungu (@EdgarCLungu) August 12, 2021