* Mugabe moves to neutralise potential threat
* Several Mnangagwa allies face ZANU-PF expulsion
* ZANU-PF provinces want Grace Mugabe for vice president
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's sacking of his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa was part of a wider purge, state media said on Tuesday, in a clear out analysts say is meant to neutralise any resistance to the political rise of his wife, Grace.
Mugabe sacked his long-time ally Mnangagwa on Monday for showing "traits of disloyalty", abruptly removing a favourite to succeed the 93-year-old leader and boosting the likelihood of Grace Mugabe becoming his next deputy and potential successor.
State televsion ZBC said the purge went beyond removing Mnangagwa, 75, as half of the ruling ZANU-PF's national provincial executives separately met and passed resolutions expelling supporters of the former vice president on Monday.
ZANU-PF leaders in the eastern Manicaland region called for the expulsion of cyber security minister Patrick Chinamasa, a former finance minister before he was moved in a cabinet reshuffle on Oct. 9, ZBC said in an online report.
Chinamasa, fellow cabinet ministers Oppah Muchinguri, Chris Mushohwe and 36 other party members and officials were accused of being Mnangagwa allies who were disrespectful to Mugabe.
"The province recommended the expulsion of 39 individuals from the province who were involved with the Mnangagwa-aligned 'Lacoste' faction, which is accused of not respecting the party's one centre of power principle," ZBC said.
The three cabinet ministers did not respond to calls for comment.
The process to weed out Mnangagwa allies was repeated in four other provinces, the state Herald newspaper said.
A senior ZANU-PF official from Matabeleland South Province told Reuters that the provincial executive there had on Tuesday passed a resolution to fire 15 senior members linked to Mnangagwa, including state security minister Kembo Mohadi.
Remaining provinces were holding separate meetings on Tuesday, two ZANU-PF sources in Harare told Reuters.
Recommendations by the provinces will be discussed by ZANU-PF's supreme decision-making Politburo at its sitting next week and if adopted will seal the fate of the officials.
International Crisis Group's southern Africa senior consultant Piers Pigou said purges of ZANU-PF members seen as supportive of Mnangagwa would neutralise any potential fight-back.
"Survival is going to be the name of the game for many people," he said.
Five ZANU-PF provinces and the youth wing also recommended that Grace become vice president, ZBC said, opening the way for the first lady to serve next to her husband in government.
Grace has said ZANU-PF plans to change its charter this month to allow Mugabe to appoint a female vice president at a special congress set for mid-December.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Somali children abused in crackdown, families say
Judges delay ruling on diesel bans for German cities
Death toll from listeria outbreak in South Africa more than doubles to 172
Scores of girls 'missing' after new Boko Haram school attack
Six killed in attack on South Africa police station
Zimbabwe bids farewell to opposition hero Tsvangirai
Ramaphosa will ‘screen’ officials’ lifestyles
Thousands in Zimbabwe bid farewell to ‘People’s General’ Tsvangirai
Atul Gupta challenges South African asset freeze