The High Court in Zimbabwe is to rule today on the legality of the government's directive to mobile operators to shut down internet services amid a violent crackdown over a rise in fuel prices, state-owned Herald newspaper reports.

Two rights groups, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa), are trying to sue the government saying the shutdown was unconstitutional.

They say that it infringed on the constitutional rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the media.

The main telecommunication companies, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, NetOne Cellular Private Limited and Telecel Zimbabwe, were listed as respondents in the lawsuit.

Internet users say that they experienced intermittent connection throughout last week but popular social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter were largely blocked.