The Movement for Democratic change formation of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has taken issue with “elements in the security sector” who it says keep obstructing Mr. Tsvangirai's meetings with supporters.
Police banned two of Mr. Tsvangirai’s so-called consultative meetings in Harare last week and tried to block another one in Highfield this week, letting it proceed only on orders from Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri.
Mr. Tsvangirai had scheduled yet another meeting with supporters in Budiriro, Harare, on Thursday evening.
Efforts to reach police Commissioner Chihuri for comment on the MDC complaints were unsuccessful.
Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that his party strongly condemns the actions of the police. Co-Minister of Home Affairs Theresa Makone, a member of the Tsvangirai MDC formation, also criticized the police, who fall under her purview, saying they were acting “inappropriately.”
Political analyst Effie Dlela-Ncube said police moves against the MDC confirm the prime minister has little real power.
With elections in the air if not necessarily on the horizon, the role of the police in politics is once again coming under scrutiny following the cancellation of Mr Tsvangirai's meetings.
Doubts about the impartiality and effectiveness of the police were also raised by the failure of the national force to maintain order in Harare during September constitutional outreach sessions that were disrupted by violence.
For a look at the role of police in the context of Harare's national unity government and proposed 2011 elections, VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira sought the views of analyst Charles Mangongera and MDC Senator Obert Gutu.
Mangongera said the handwriting is on the wall as to the role of the police in the anticipated elections.