Kenya election official found dead just days before vote

02 August, 2017, 00:47 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • JOHN CHESOLI

Immediately news of the death of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Director of ICT Chris Msando broke yesterday, focus sharply shifted to a Facebook post that suggested that the officer, who had been missing since Friday night, had been with a female companion in Nairobi's Roysambu estate. It has been reported he feared for his life.

The slain official was in charge of managing information technology systems at the electoral commission and had been missing for several days. "The only question in our mind is who [killed him] and why he was killed a few days to elections", Chebukati told reporters.

"Msando's killing comes as the electoral management body was due to audit its systems, a week away from the election day", Namwaya said. His body, stripped to his underwear, was found on Sunday (July 30) and identified the following day.

In 2013, electronic voting machines suffered widespread malfunctions, and Odinga took his complaints to court, only to have them dismissed.

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Msando's death follows a mysterious attack at the home of deputy president William Ruto on Saturday in Eldoret, northwest of Nairobi.

Protesters marched on the offices of Kenya's election commission on Tuesday, demanding a speedy investigation of the murder of a senior official that has raised fears over the legitimacy of next week's national elections.

"Careless speculation in this time of grief only makes the work of investigators harder, and it only adds to the pain of those who loved him", the president said, urging the country to remain united ahead of the vote.

Led by its flagbearer Raila Odinga, the Opposition had claimed that IEBC and al Ghurair were colluded to print extra ballot papers so as to tilt the election results in favour of the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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"Prior to his death, Mr Msando reported death threats to the central police station and the police did not provide him detailed security", it said. Msando's death has increased such concerns.

Kenya's police chief Joseph Boinnet has said a special team from the Directorate of Criminal investigations has been set up to investigate Msando's murder.

Odinga lost the hotly-disputed 2007 presidential election, that triggered violence that killed more than 1,100 people.

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