Local Government Minister Emerine Kabanshi on Thursday nullified the suspension of Town Clerk Vivian Chikoti by Livingstone city council councillors on allegations of incompetence, and instead suspended the councillors for their decision.
Kabanshi appointed a PF cadre Alex Bwalya as administrator of the council.
But UPND Kalomo Member of Parliament Request Muntanga has told QFM News that the PF wants to use the Town Clerk who is the Returning officer in the elections to manipulate the vote.
Mr. Muntanga says the move to suspend the council is aimed at creating loopholes to rig the by-election.
He says even if the decision by the council to suspend the three officials could have been illegal, the Minister should have found a more appropriate way of handling the matter.
Mr Muntanga states that the local government Minister should have simply reinstated the three suspended council officials and put the matter of the councilors on the table for discussion.
He says the quick decision by the minister to suspend the council only shows that there is a hidden agenda behind the suspension of the UPND dominated council.