Sten Zvorwadza has been taken to Harare Central Police Station on allegations of insulting and undermining the authority of the president.
Zvorwadza is arrested after President Robert Mugabe has ordered a crackdown on street traders in Harare, 12 years after a similar exercise left hundreds of thousands of people without livelihoods or homes.
He told a ruling party meeting that even a road bearing his name is the site of illegal vending.
At a weekend meeting of his party’s youth assembly, President Mugabe denounced street traders for blocking roads.
He said the city had become dirty and that roads should be cleared.
Harare Town Clerk Josephine Ncube has since issued a statement, saying city authorities will launch a blitz called Operation Restore Order to clear the city of illegal traders and tear down their stalls.
A similar operation 12 years ago was condemned by human rights groups.
The Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation says if it goes ahead, this eviction exercise could affect the livelihoods of 100,000 people.