The deputy president of Zimbabwe has been linked to a plot to assassinate Robert Mugabe, according to a report in a state-run newspaper.
Joice Mujuru (59), the vice-president and one of two frontrunners to succeed the 90-year-old president, was "at the centre" of the plan led by two of her allies in the party, according to 'The Sunday Mail', which is widely seen as a mouthpiece for Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.
The newspaper cited legal experts calling for police to investigate the allegations, and analysts saying that the revelations made Mrs Mujuru's continued senior position in the party "untenable".
The assassination allegation is widely seen as another salvo in the battle for the party's vice-presidential position ahead of next month's elective congress. The vice-president will succeed Mr Mugabe when he dies or retires, but only for 90 days.
In recent months Mr Mugabe's wife, Grace, has been campaigning in the provinces for high political office, claiming that she is a presidential contender.
She has accused Mrs Mujuru, believed to be the West's preferred Mugabe replacement, of being a thief, and of plotting a coup against her husband.
The allegations follow the suspension of many of Mrs Mujuru's key supporters in Zanu-PF at a meeting of the party's powerful politburo last week. (© Daily Telegraph, London)