4 officials with Zimbabwe PM's office arrested, police say
March 17, 2013 -- Updated 1456 GMT (2256 HKT)
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai addresses the media after casting his vote in the referendum on March 16.
- NEW: Authorities accuse the officials of impersonating police
- The arrests come a day after a key vote on a new constitution
- Prime minister's office says the officials were arrested after a police raid
Harare, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- Police raided an office of Zimbabwe's prime minister on Sunday, arresting four officials a day after a key vote in the African nation.
The officials are accused of impersonating police, Zimbabwe police spokeswoman Charity Charamba told reporters.
The raid came a day after a national referendum to approve a new constitution that would impose presidential term limits for the first time in Zimbabwe. The results of the voting are not yet known. And it came just a few months before Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is expected to run against President Robert Mugabe in presidential elections.
Tsvangirai's office said in a statement that the officials were arrested after a raid on his communications office. Police also arrested Beatrice Mtetwa, a prominent human rights lawyer, accusing her of "defeating the course of justice," Charamba said.
"She went where police were conducting searches and she was shouting at the detectives," Charamba said.
The officials are in police custody as investigations continue, Charamba said.
Mugabe, 89, has been in power for decades, first serving as prime minister in 1980 and taking over as president seven years later.
He and Tsvangirai are expected to face off in the upcoming election, which will end a fragile coalition between them.
The two leaders entered a power-sharing agreement in 2009 after regional leaders nullified Mugabe's victory, citing violence by his loyalists targeted at rival supporters.
Saturday's referendum -- one of the conditions set before an election -- clears the way for the first poll since a disputed outcome plunged the nation into chaos in 2008.
If approved, which is highly likely, the new constitution will give more powers to the parliament and limit the president's. It also introduces a two-term limit of five years each for a president.
But the limit will not apply retroactively, which means Mugabe could have 10 more years as head of state if he is re-elected.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 29, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
The missing AirAsia jet probably crashed into the sea, Indonesia's top rescue official said Monday, citing radar data from the plane's last contact.
December 29, 2014 -- Updated 0850 GMT (1650 HKT)
Here are four ways the two incidents appear to differ.
December 29, 2014 -- Updated 1327 GMT (2127 HKT)
Hundreds of passengers have endured a freezing night on a ferry, more than 24 hours after a fire broke out on the vessel in the Adriatic Sea.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0254 GMT (1054 HKT)
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist and fatherof the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.