What to do if WhatsApp gets blocked in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe once again finds itself going tough times and that said, Zimbabweans are speaking out more about their frustrations. Many are sharing their feelings, thoughts and frustrations via social media and other communication platforms such as WhatsApp. The messages have inspired many to speak out and stand up for what they feel is right.

But, the government does not seem to like what people are doing and saying and has deemed some of these communications as being tantamount to treason. To that effect, POTRAZ put out a statement to inform citizens that communications on social media and WhatsApp will be monitored. They went on the say that people with messages that, “cause despondency, incite violence, threaten citizens and cause unrest, will be arrested and dealt with accordingly in the national interest”.

If this is of concern to you, you can employ various methods to prevent the Zimbabwe government from spying on you and your online activity.

As far as WhatsApp goes, the company itself says that they offer end-to-end encryption where the only person who can read a message is the person or group chat it is sent to. They go on to say,

No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us. End-to-end encryption helps make communication via WhatsApp private – sort of like a face-to-face conversation.

But, in order for encryption to be activated, all parties within the conversation have to be using the latest version of WhatsApp. Are you and all of your contacts using the latest version? As already mentioned in the post about being spied on (link above) it was mentioned that in the case of a conversation between two people, it is easy enough to get encryption assurance. All you have to do is tell the other person to update their software. In the case of group conversations, that may be easier said than done. All it takes is just one person to not be using the latest version which effectively makes the conversation insecure and open to prying eyes. (continued below)


More often than not, it is via groups that a number of the messages that the government doesn’t was spread are shared. So, make sure that everyone within your groups is running the latest version. Besides the added security of a VPN, end-to-end encryption is a good way to ensure that you are shielded from prying eyes.

Another issue that citizens of Zimbabwe faced last week and may well so face in the future is not being able to use WhatsApp. On the 6th of July, many people reported not be able to use it to communicate. This may (or may not) have been the government/service providers blocking there service as a result of #ShutdownZim2016/#ZimShutdown2016.

How to unblock WhatsApp

If you do find yourself not being able to use WhatsApp, setup a VPN (virtual private network) and try it out. Not only will it give you an extra layer of security, it will also unblock any services that become blocked by the government and/or ISPs (internet service providers). See the video below (from PureVPN.com) for a brief rundown on what a VPN is and what it can do for you with regards to any apps that may get blocked.

Do you have any other methods that people can use to unblock WhatsApp if it gets blocked in Zimbabwe?


6 Responses to What to do if WhatsApp gets blocked in Zimbabwe

  1. Elia July 14, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

    EMA Messenger is the best way to go, people of zimbabwe should download it, because it is trusted all around the world and terror groups like ISIS also use it. Download it here http://www.emahome.wapka.mobi

    • Living Zimbabwe July 14, 2016 at 1:57 pm #

      Hi Elia,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting and putting forward a suggestion on an app that can be used to in the event WhatsApp gets blocked in Zimbabwe.

      Our concern about the app you suggested is security for the person on which the device is downloaded on to.

      It is widely recommended that apps be downloaded from the App or Play store for more reassurance that they do not contain malware.

      Can it be guaranteed that the one you suggested does not contain malware as it is not in any official app store?

  2. Elia July 14, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

    Yes it can be guaranteed I’ve been using this App since 2015, I haven’t experienced anything related to malware. And it is also found on Amazon App store.

  3. Jacob July 20, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

    Since you guys are talking about EMA here is the good news, I downloaded it on Getjar last week and it is working just fine, they also have end-to-end encryption and secret chat which you can set self destruction timer, it is safe no wonder they say terror groups like ISIS are using it and still governments can’t trace them.

    For #thisflag movement sake I’ll post you a link to download EMA messenger on getjar http://www.getjar.com/categories/social-and-messaging-apps/sms-and-im/EMA-883553

  4. Jacob August 1, 2016 at 4:41 am #

    I just found out that WhatsApp is not secure all, read this article for more https://cdanews.com/2016/07/research-finds-whatsapp-chats-leave-record-even-after-deletion/

  5. Jacob August 1, 2016 at 4:42 am #

    I just found out that WhatsApp is not secure at all, read this article for more https://cdanews.com/2016/07/research-finds-whatsapp-chats-leave-record-even-after-deletion/

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