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Grace Mugabe Banned from New Zealand

Grace Mugabe, the widow of former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, has reportedly been added to a list of individuals banned from the southwestern Pacific Ocean island of New Zealand.

The New Zealand government also announced they have blocked visits from people involved in the killing of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year, the MaraviPost reported Dec. 29.

The restrictions began retroactively on Dec. 1.

No further explanations were given for why the ban on Mugabe was effected now, or whether she had recently made attempts to visit New Zealand.

Mugabe currently has an arrest warrant issued against her by South African prosecutors for allegedly assaulting Gabriella Engels, a model who was dating her son, in 2017.

Engels accused Mugabe of beating her with an electric extension cord in a hotel room in Johannesburg.

Grace married Mugabe, 41 years her senior, in 1996, having been a secretary from his typing pool for a few years. She had also previously been married to an airforce serviceman.

The Mugabes had their first child, Bona, out of wedlock in 1990. The two had other children, Robert Jr. and Bellarmine Chatunga, known for their extravagant lifestyle and partying.

For close to 20 years after becoming first lady, Grace would not enter mainstream politics but still irked Zimbabweans with her love for all things fancy, including expensive shopping trips to Europe.

She was a regular at Harrod’s, London’s famous designer clothing store. At one point, she demanded that the store shut its doors to other customers to enable her to shop in privacy.

In early 2002, before European Union sanctions on her family and their cronies, she blew $120,000 while shopping in Paris, according to French and English tabloids. In her later days after entering politics, she spent $1.4 million on a diamond ring, ostensibly to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her wedding to Mugabe in 2016.

Over the years, she grew into a powerful politician and businesswoman while fancying herself as a philanthropist.

Grace entered politics on a full-time basis in 2014 after being appointed secretary of the women’s league at the Zanu-PF congress.

Prior to her appointment, she had embarked on a “meet the people” tour, during which she vilified former Vice President Joice Mujuru, accusing her of plotting to unseat her husband.

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