, Harare, Zimbabwe, Nov 21 – Here are some key dates in the life of Grace Mugabe, wife of resigned president Robert Mugabe, whose ambitions to succeed him largely led to a military takeover.
– July 23, 1965: Grace Marufu is born in South Africa.
– 1996: Aged 31, she marries Robert Mugabe, 72, for whom she had been working as a secretary and having an affair. The couple already have two children.
– 2002: She is included in an EU asset freeze and visa ban against members of Zimbabwe’s political and military elite. The United States also imposes a visa ban.
– 2009: Grace Mugabe allegedly assaults a British journalist trying to photograph her leaving a Hong Kong hotel. She is granted diplomatic immunity from prosecution.
– 2010: Wikileaks releases a US diplomatic cable from 2008 that says that she is among Zimbabwean elites who gained millions of US dollars from illegal diamond mines. She sues the local The Standard newspaper for publishing the story.
– September 2014: She is awarded a doctorate just months after enrolling at university, sparking student protests.
– December 2014: Grace Mugabe is appointed president of the ruling ZANU-PF party’s powerful Women’s League and a member of its central committee, placing her high among the contenders to succeed her husband.
– August 2017: She is accused of beating a model at a South African hotel with an extension cord. The South African government grants her diplomatic immunity from prosecution.
– November 2017: Robert Mugabe fires vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, a move seen as intended to open the way for his wife’s succession. A few days later the military takes control of the country, leading to Mugabe’s resignation on November 21.