The ruling Zanu-PF party of Robert Mugabe, the president, suffered a historic reverse in the elections in March, winning only 97 seats compared to 100 taken by the MDC. A splinter party formed and led by Arthur Mutambara, a former MDC politician, has 10 seats.

Earlier Chamisa said: "We hear that they are also looking for a total of 15 of our members of parliament as part of an evil ploy to rig the elections for parliamentary speaker."

The police also attempted to arrest Elton Mangoma, one of the representatives of the MDC at recent power-sharing negotiations with the governing Zanu-PF of Robert Mugabe, the president.

Other MDC politicians prevented Mangoma from being taken away, sources told Al Jazeera.

Chamisa said that the MDC would not allow the vote for the speaker of the hoouse to go ahead after the arrests.

"Clearly they have chosen the path of arrogance, unilaterilism, that is a serious blow to confidence building in the talks," Chamisa said.