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She married the most dangerous man in the world. Now nobody knows where she is.

Former First Lady Grace Mugabe is missing.

Let’s start at the beginning.

African nationalist Robert Mugabe became the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in 1980, alongside his then wife Sally Hayfron. He identified as a Marxist-Leninist, and was particularly passionate about education and healthcare reform.

In late 1987, the parliament in Zimbabwe amended the constitution, promoting Mugabe to executive President. The new position meant he was the head of state, head of government and the commander-in-chief of armed forces. It also meant he could run for an unlimited number of terms.

Depending on where one stands, Mugabe can be read as a convincing revolutionary hero who helped free Zimbabwe from white minority rule. But if one shuffles just slightly to the left, we see a power-hungry dictator, far more terrifying than President Donald Trump, guilty of economic mismanagement, corruption, discrimination and crimes against humanity.

Mugabe’s first wife, Sally Hayfron, was adored by the people of Zimbabwe who referred to her as Amai, which translates as ‘mother’. Hayfron was a teacher and philanthropist. The couple had one son, who died of malaria when he was three years old.

And then she got sick.

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While Hayfron was dying of kidney disease, her husband of 30 years had an affair with his secretary, Grace Marufu.

Marufu was 40 years his junior. While Hayfron lay on her deathbed, Mugabe and Marufu had two children together.

Hayfron died in 1992 and Mugabe and Marufu married four years later.

Marufu, now Grace Mugabe, has earned herself the nickname ‘Gucci Grace’ for wearing absurdly expensive designer clothes in the midst of economic crisis.

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How Grace Mugabe is often depicted. Image via Getty.

Others call her 'DisGrace', referring to her infamously bad temper. In 2009, while on a luxurious shopping trip in Hong Kong (millions of people in Zimbabwe live well below the poverty line) she ordered a body guard to attack a photographer. Grace then joined in, punching the man in the face, while wearing sizeable diamond rings.

In August 2017, it is alleged that Grace assaulted 20-year-old model Gabrielle Engels and two friends in South Africa who were spending time with her sons. She is said to have hit them with an extension cord, causing a deep gash on Engel's forehead. Grace ignored calls to appear at a Johannesburg court, and was eventually granted diplomatic immunity.

But they are hardly the most damning charges that have been made against Grace Mugabe.

It would seem she had plans to become her husband's successor as President, and was willing to do that by any means possible.

Image via Getty.
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To be clear, Zimbabwe is in serious economic crisis. It is widely known that Mugabe has used violence to maintain his grip on power. The people of Zimbabwe are demanding change, and every time it has looked like a new leader is rising, Mugabe has been sure to eliminate them.

When he suffered an electoral defeat in 2000, Mugabe ordered the murder of his enemies by security forces.

Zimbabwean politician Paul Mangwana said of Mugabe, "He has refused to implement the constitution of Zimbabwe - particularly we had elections for the provincial councils, but up to now they have not been put into office.

"He is of advanced age, that he no longer has the physical capacity to run government... He is a stubborn man, he can hear the voices of the people, but is refusing to listen."

"The main charge is that he has allowed his wife to usurp constitutional power when she has no right to run government. But she is insulting civil servants, the vice president, at public rallies. They are denigrating the army - those are the charges," Mangwana said.

It is alleged that in September, 2017, Grace attempted to poison the primary contender for the presidency, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, with an ice cream at a political gathering.

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And then, two weeks ago, Mugabe decided to fire him.

For the people of Zimbabwe, that was the tipping point.

The military intervened, rising up in support of Mnangagwa.

Today, on the 22nd of November, 93-year-old Robert Mugabe - who has held power for 37 years and once said that "only God" could remove him from his chair, resigned.

He is now under house arrest, held by the military.

But 52-year-old Grace Mugabe is nowhere to be seen.

One military official has said she has been taken away to prevent the pair "colluding and conspiring, and to isolate her husband further."

A source told the Daily Mail she has been moved to detention facilities in Zimbabwe, and Mnangagwa has simply said she's been arrested to prevent her leaving the country.

When the military intervened, their primary goal was to prevent the succession of Grace Mugabe.

Because if Zimbabwe thought her husband was dangerous, it would seem Grace had the potential to be far, far worse.

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