Reynolds, who resigned from
Zimbabwean immigration officials confirmed the arrest to international news agencies, saying the former Democratic representative was in the country on an expired visa, but did not provide further details.
"The Department of State takes its obligation to assist U.S. citizens abroad seriously and stands ready to provide all appropriate consular services," it said in an emailed statement.
The Herald said Reynolds was accused of making pornographic videos and photographs of models and other women he brought to his room. At least one staff member from the paper arrived at the scene as he was being led away.
Possession of pornography is illegal in Zimbabwe.
Reynolds was also said to have accumulated bills of more than $24,500 at two local hotels, the paper said.
Reynolds reportedly complained that he did not expect such treatment when he had brought investors to Zimbabwe.
"I have been in this country 17 times, where I have done a lot of work for the people, including the fight against sanctions," the Herald quoted him as saying.
The United States maintains sanctions against Zimbabwean President
Reynolds lost his congressional seat in 1995 after being convicted of having sex with an underage campaign worker. He also spent time in prison on unrelated fraud charges, but his sentence was commuted by President Clinton in 2001.
He made an unsuccessful bid to return to Congress a year ago, his second attempt at a political comeback under a campaign slogan of "redemption."