KENYA: Rights Groups Protest Murder of Poll Official

NAIROBI AUGUST 1, 2017(CISA) – Hundreds of human rights activists took to the streets of Nairobi today to protest murder of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ICT Manager, Chris Msando.

The body of Chris Msando, the IEBC systems development manager, was found with signs of torture in a forest in Kikuyu on the outskirts of the City on July 30 at 11am.

“This is a source of very, very significant concern and we want to tell the IEBC (election commission) that there are a lot of people out there who are concerned about the killing,” said George Kegoro, director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission which led the march to IEBC headquarters.

“Kenya has an unfortunate history of assassinations for political expediency and there is a chilling familiarity in the sequence of events… that makes it difficult to dismiss the sinking feeling that we have been here before,” he said.

Msando, who had been declared, missing on July 30, was identified by family members the following day, prompting an outpouring of condemnation from rights groups and the international community.

“We demand justice for Musando, respect, independence and security of IEBC, intercity of the vote and protection of every life on Kenyan soil,” said Augustine Ogao, representative of Kenya University students Organization (KUSO) in the demo.

He noted that the death of ICT director in a murder most foul only serves to erode confidence in the preparation of the August 8 election.
In a joint statement, the ambassadors of the United States and Britain said they were “gravely concerned” by the murder and offered their countries’ assistance in the probe.

Msando had made several television appearances in the days before his death to assure Kenyans of the reliability of the electronic voting system which crashed during the 2013 elections leading to accusations of poll fraud.

He was to lead a test run of the system on Monday, which was postponed.

The electoral body’s Chairman Wafula Chebukati called on government to provide security to IEBC staff, but sought to play down fears Msando’s killers had obtained any sensitive information.

“Whoever tortured him I don’t think he got anything. All our passwords are intact. We have service providers and, as it is, none of the commission employees have these passwords so let us not speculate,” Chebukati said.



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