HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's vice president has denied reports that she is planning to assassinate President Robert Mugabe and said 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.

"I deny any and all the allegations of treason, corruption, incompetence, and misuse of public office being routinely made against me," Mujuru said. "I stand ready to defend myself before the party, and in any court of law on any of the allegations made against me, at any time, in accordance with the laws of Zimbabwe."

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.

Grace Mugabe has assumed an increasingly political role, angering some party insiders who believe she does not have leadership credentials in a country struggling with high unemployment and other social problems.