The leader of the Zimbabwean Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries (MHD) Walter Magaya has been arrested on rape allegations, it emerged on Saturday.

African News Agency understands Magaya was arrested late on Friday night. Details are still sketchy, but three police sources have confirmed the arrest.

Magaya was said to have been taken to Rhodesville police station in the capital, where he spent the night in the cells.

“He was taken by criminal investigations department officers this morning [Saturday] after spending the night in cells,” one source said.

“It was a directive from HE [his excellency President Robert Mugabe],” the other source said.

“He was booked in the detention book as number 453/16 at 23:42 hours.” Magaya was expected to be taken to court soon.

National police spokeswoman senior assistant commissioner Charity Charamba said she was yet to receive information on the arrest. “I’m not aware, I’m attending a board meeting,” she said in a text message.

Magaya is popular within the region and commands a huge following. He has toured South Africa and Botswana, where he has taken along a huge entourage of more than 15 buses and several escort cars.