His removal makes it more likely that President Robert Mugabe's wife Grace will follow in her husband's footsteps as leader of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe's vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa has been fired, the country's information minister has said.
The Minister of Information who is also ZANU PF Secretary For Information and Publicity Simon Khaya Moyo made the announcement in a briefing of state media journalists in Harare this afternoon.
The 75-year-old former intelligence chief had been one of the favourites to succeed the Zimbabwean President, having been appointed vice president in 2014. It had become evidence that his conduct of his duties had become inconsistent with his official responsibilities.
But the pair are thought to have recently fallen out, with Mr Mugabe publicly rebuking him at a rally over the weekend. "That man is a ravisher", said Grace.
"We are going for the congress as a united party". "The only person possessing such qualities is. the first lady".
Mnangagwa's Achilles' heel may well have been his supporters, who kept calling on Mugabe to step down. Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was removed from office "with immediate effect".
He has been endorsed as his party's candidate for next year's election.