Newspaper posters in the street in Harare on Tuesday. Picture: supplied

Harare - A Zimbabwean journalist has been arrested by the police for writing a story that said Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe donated used underwear and nightdresses to ruling Zanu-PF supporters in Mutare, a city about 265km east of Harare, at the weekend.

Kenneth Nyangani was arrested Monday after he wrote the story titled "Grace donates used underwear", which was published in the private newspaper NewsDay.

In the story businessman and Zanu-PF legislator Esau Mupfumi was quoted as having said the donation he was handing over to party supporters had come from Grace.

“Recently, I visited the State House and I met the First Lady Grace Mugabe and I was given these clothes so that I can give you," Mupfumi was quoted as saying.

“I have briefs for you and I am told that most of your briefs are not in good shape, please come and collect your allocations today. We have nightdresses, sandals and clothes, come and take, this is from your First Lady Grace Mugabe.”

The "donation" raised eyebrows in light of reports that the First Lady and her son, had recently imported luxury vehicles worth millions of dollars while the majority of Zimbabweans wallow in poverty. 

Zimbabwe Independent reported on Friday claimed that Grace Mugabe bought herself a Rolls-Royce worth nearly half a million dollars in South Africa. Last month reports from Harare said the First Lady's son, Russell Goreraza, imported two Rolls-Royce limousines.

On Tuesday, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said they had deployed a lawyer to assist Nyangani.

“Because ZLHR runs an efficient 24-hour rapid reaction system, we have managed to deploy our lawyer, Passmore Nyakureba, to offer emergency legal services to NewsDay journalist Kenneth Nyangani, who has been arrested and detained for allegedly writing a story published in Monday’s edition of NewsDay claiming that First Lady Grace Mugabe donated some used undergarments to some Zanu-PF supporters in Manicaland province,” the human rights lawyers said.

It was not immediately clear what charges Nyangani was facing.