Zimbabwean police are continuing to block Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai from holding rallies with supporters of his Movement for Democratic Change formation.
Mr. Tsvangirai was on Thursday evening expected to address a rally with his supporters in Harare's Budiriro township but senior police officers moved in and cancelled the meeting, his party said.
A similar meeting scheduled for Highfields was blocked on Wednesday. The MDC criticised the police actions saying they were "inspired by fear."
Analysts say the banning of Tsvangirai's rallies shows that ZANU-PF is now in election mode following President Robert Mugabe’s speech last week that elections will be held next year.
Tsvangirai MDC spokesperson, Nelson chamisa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Chris Gande that police have banned Mr. Tsvangirai's meetings despite having been notified of them well in advance.
In another development, the Tsvangirai MDC formation has launched a broadside at Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara for statements he made in parliament this week over the appointments of ambassadors by Mr. Mugabe.
Mutambara allegedly told the House of Assembly that only the Supreme Court could determine whether Mr. Mugabe acted constitutionally or not by appointing ambassadors and provincial governors of his ZANU-PF party without consulting his governing MDC partners.
In a statement posted on its website, the Tsvangirai MDC said Mutambara was acting like a “ZANU-PF sidekick.”
Mutambara was not reachable for comment. But his party came to his defence, denying he is endorsing Mugabe’s unilateral actions.
Party spokesperson Edwin Mushoriwa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Brenda Moyo his boss does not approve of Mr. Mugabe’s violation of the Global Political Agreement.