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Zimbabwe's mobile networks overwhelmed by social media users

Many Zimbabweans took to social media to spread news of the coup. AFP PHOTO
Many Zimbabweans took to social media to spread news of the coup. AFP PHOTO  

Events of the past week surrounding the fate of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe have put tremendous pressure on the mobile networks of the southern African country as people chose to stay on social media to remain informed.

State-owned NetOne said on Monday that its network experienced congestion.

"We would like to inform all our valued customers that we are currently experiencing high data usage and congestion on the network. We are doing all the best we can to address the issue," a message posted to NetOne's subscribers said.

Zimbabwe's military took over government functions last week in an action they said was not a coup but has been widely interpreted as such, saying that it wanted to get rid of "criminals" around Mugabe and put the economy back on the rails.

Many took to social media to spread the news.

Even those in the diaspora stayed on their mobile phones and were sharing pictures of what was happening as excitement gripped Zimbabweans who believed that a new political dispensation beckoned, especially on Saturday when tens of thousands marched against Mugabe.

Messages were being posted via WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter with images of the march and commentaries.

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