Highly placed sources in the police, told a private radio station Radio VOP, at the weekend that Tsvangirai wanted to visit the country’s police posts to meet officers and assess their work conditions and hear their concerns but was blocked by the police chief.

During the scheduled visit Tsvangirai was to make a firsthand assessment of police cells whose conditions have been roundly condemned by human rights activists.

“The Prime Minister was supposed to Harare Central Police Station and several other stations around the country in December but the visit was blocked by Chihuri who is afraid that he was going to use the visit to cement the already growing support that Tsvangirai has among members of the force,” highly placed sources at Harare Central Police station told Radio VOP.

“A radio was sent in December instructing officers to prepare for the visit of the Prime Minister. But while officers were busy preparing for his coming another radio was sent to all stations instructing everyone not to entertain the Prime Minister and anyone  representing him. That was the last we heard of his visit.”

The sources said they would have wanted the Prime Minister to visit so that he can see for himself the rot at many police stations in the country.

The cells at Harare Central Police Station are inhabitable with prisoners crowded in the cells and diseases flourishing.

Chihuri  is a hardline Zanu PF supporter whose term of office has been continuously renewed by President Robert Mugabe. He vowed, together with other security chiefs, before the March 2008 harmonised elections, that he will not salute Tsvangirai if he was to become president of the country.

In 2007 on March 11, Chihuri sanctioned the assault of Tsvangirai and many other civic leaders during the aborted prayer meeting at Zimbabwe grounds. Tsvangirai was beaten all over his body until he passed out.

Just recently Chihuri refused to facilitate a civil servants audit programme from accessing police files.

It is believed that the police force has on its pay roll thousands of war veterans who are neither police officers nor police constabularies.