ZBC, Zimbabwe’s public broadcaster, has said that ahead of next week’s presidential election, it will stop carrying campaign adverts from the opposition party.
The Movement for Democratic Change said it would appeal against the decision.
Saying international coverage favoured the MDC and never reported the ruling Zanu-PF’s position, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa defended the move.
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, expressed earlier his concern over the political violence in Zimbabwe. Adding his voice to growing international concern, he said in Zimbabwe the violence could undermine the outcome of the 27 June run-off.
“Violence, intimidation and the arrest of opposition leaders are not conducive to credible elections”, he told the UN General Assembly in New York.
Later on Thursday, in an attempt to maintain international political pressure, an informal UN Security Council meeting on Zimbabwe will be held, where Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State, is due to chair.
In the same time, Thabo Mbeki (photo), South African president has pursued his efforts to mediate between president Robert Mugabe and the opposition leader, Robert Mugabe.
No statement were released on the talks he held separately with both presidential candidates, as pressure mounted on Mr Mugabe, to curtail political violence ahead of the poll.
Mr Mbeki’s policy of so-called quiet diplomacy has been criticised by the MDC, for failing to hold Mr Mugabe to account.
The first round of the presidential election in March has been won by Mr Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), but not enough votes for a clear victory, official results show.
Haile Menkerios, a senior UN official, has met President Mugabe to discuss the political stand-off and what the UN says is the increased suffering of an already vulnerable population. In order to oversee the run-off vote, the UN is prepared to pay to fund election monitors.
The BBC’s Laura Trevelyan reports from the UN that South Africa is opposed to the Security Council having too much involvement. It is not for the council to resolve disputed elections, argues Pretoria.
If current levels of violence continued, an African poll observer warned earlier that he would not endorse the vote.
Marwick Khumalo, head of the Pan-African Parliamentary observers, told the BBC his team had received horrendous reports of attacks and that the political environment was not conducive to a free poll.
But just days away from the vote, there is a growing sense of urgency with political violence beginning to spread from the countryside to the towns, says the BBC’s Peter Biles in Johannesburg.
To extend his 28-year rule, Mr Mugabe has been waging a fierce campaign.
In order to ensure a free and fair vote, Raila Odinga (photo), Kenyan prime minister, has called for an international peacekeeping force to be deployed in Zimbabwe.
“It is time for the leaders of Africa to say to President Mugabe that the people of Zimbabwe deserve a free and fair election”, he said.
Gordon Brown, British prime minister says he has spoken to Jacob Zuma, the leader of South Africa’s governing African National Congress, about the possibility of deploying 1000 election observers from the ANC.