Grace Mugabe, the wife of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugable, is reported to have fled the country for neighbouring Namibia.
Her husband is thought to be under house arrest in the southern African country’s capital, Harare, after the Zimbabwean military took control of the government.
It is unclear how Ms Mugabe was able to make her escape.
It comes after Zimbabwean army generals seized power and detained senior officials, including the Finance Minister, as part of a round-up of “criminals”.
In a statement read live on state television, Major General Gen Sibusiso Moyo said Mr Mugabe and his family are “safe and sound and their security is guaranteed”.