Zimbabwe's vice president says reports that she is planning to assassinate President Robert Mugabe are false and she is ready to defend herself in court if necessary.

Vice President Joice Mujuru made the remarks in a statement Sunday night following a report in The Sunday Mail, a state-run newspaper, that linked her to an alleged plot to kill the 90-year-old president.

Political factions are maneuvering for influence ahead of the annual ruling party congress next month. Mujuru has come under repeated verbal attacks from Mugabe's wife, Grace.