President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has sacked his vice-president, Joice Mujuru, after accusing her of corruption and plotting to kill him.
Mr Mugabe also dismissed seven government ministers in connection with the alleged plot, a statement said.
Mrs Mujuru, once seen as a possible future leader of Zimbabwe, has denied plotting against the president.
State media and Mr Mugabe’s wife, Grace, have conducted a campaign against her for months.
“President RG Mugabe has exercised his executive powers to release the Honourable Joice Mujuru… with immediate effect,” said a statement issued by chief secretary to the cabinet Misheck Sibanda.
Mrs Mujuru’s conduct had been “inconsistent with the expected standard”, it said.
‘Web of lies’
The ministers whose sacking was announced on Tuesday included State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa – another long-time ally of Mr Mugabe – and Energy Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, who was seen as close to Mrs Mujuru.
There was no immediate word on replacements.
The sackings come a week after Mr Mugabe denounced his vice-president at a party congress and removed her from her post in the ruling party, Zanu-PF.
Mrs Mujuru responded on Tuesday by saying her loyalty to Mr Mugabe was “unquestionable” and it was “repugnant” and “ridiculous” to suggest she had plotted to kill him or wanted to remove him from office.
She said Zimbabwe’s state media had “continued to publish malicious untruths” about her and that she had “become the fly in a web of lies whose final objective is the destruction of Zanu-PF”.
Her accusers, she said, had produced “not a single iota of evidence” against her.
Mr Mugabe, 90, has been in power since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980. He is due to stand for election again in 2018.
Mrs Mujuru fought alongside him in the 1970s guerrilla war against white-minority rule and had been thought a possible successor as president.
But correspondents say her career ran into trouble when Mr Mugabe’s wife entered politics earlier this year.