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
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Experts believe that ISIS may be using a Spanish enclave to bring jihad to Europe.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
With an efficient subway, inexpensive taxis and a good public bus system, Hong Kong is normally an easy city to navigate ...
September 28, 2014 -- Updated 2332 GMT (0732 HKT)
CNN's Ivan Watson was in the middle of a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong when things got out of hand.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
The world's animal population has halved in 40 years as humans put unsustainable demands on Earth, a new report warns.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1249 GMT (2049 HKT)
Every day, refugees and migrants risk their lives as they seek a new life. Now, a new report puts a figure to the number of victims.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1442 GMT (2242 HKT)
Mainstream commentators must promote positive role models to Muslims feeling victimized, writes Ghaffar Hussain.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 0613 GMT (1413 HKT)
Two men familiar with inside knowledge of ISIS speak with CNN's Arwa Damon.
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2010 GMT (0410 HKT)
In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 1503 GMT (2303 HKT)
The North Korean leader hasn't been seen for weeks, leading to speculation that he is in poor health.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0154 GMT (0954 HKT)
Haider al-Abadi hopes airstrikes don't lead to "of another terrorist element" instead of ISIS.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
The United States couldn't do it on its first try. Neither could the Soviets.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
CNN's Nima Elbagir reflects on a harrowing trip to Liberia where she covered the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Contrary to public opinion, rats can actually save lives -- Apopo's rats have actually saved thousands.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1336 GMT (2136 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.