Election official's murder shocks Kenya's president

02 August, 2017, 00:51 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Kenyan election official found dead days before national vote

"We view this incident as a crime of grave proportions", said Boinnet.

"The United Kingdom and the United States are gravely concerned by the murder of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission's (IEBC) Systems Development Manager Christopher Msando".

Mr Musando was rolling out a system for voter identification and transmission of results for the presidential, legislative and regional elections.

Mr. Msando, who was in his 30s, had appeared on television only hours before he was killed, talking about how the IEBC was prepared for the election and was determined to make it a free and fair poll. Chebukati said they have postponed a test run of the technology scheduled for Monday because Msando was crucial in the process.

Odinga, who is standing again against incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, has said the last two elections were rigged. The National Super Alliance called Msando's death an assassination and an attempt to disrupt the vote.

In an apparently unconnected incident, the residence of Deputy President William Ruto came under attack over the weekend. Police said the intruder had attacked a guard at the gate with a machete and taken his gun, which he used to kill another police guard. The former prime minister, who is challenging incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, has previously warned there may be violence if the electoral authority fails to ensure this year's process, to be held on August 8, is credible. "When we go to the elections, we need to vote for people who will not watch as innocent people are killed", George Kegora, one of the organizers of the protest and the executive director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), said.

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The murder comes as fears were already soaring that Kenya could face a reprise of the bitter crisis sparked by a disputed presidential election in December 2007, which was followed by up to 1,500 deaths, massive dislocation and rising tribal tensions.

A former government official turned whistleblower, John Githongo, says there is plenty of reason to believe Msando's death is related to the election. "None of them can afford to lose".

"Chris [Msando], on television last week, assured Kenyans that they need not worry about the Kenya Integrated Electronic [Elections] Management System [KIEMS], as he was sure it would work", Mudavadi said.

Another concern is the threat from the al-Shabab extremist group based in neighboring Somalia.

Concerns are growing that the election again will face risky unrest.


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