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Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Close Uhuru ally on the spot as IEBC technology director killed
Chris Musando, the ICT director who was killed this weekend.
An atmosphere of terror engulfed Kenya Monday afternoon after the police reported that a top electoral commission official earlier reported missing had been killed. Mr Christopher Musando, the ICT director for IEBC, went missing on Friday night, hours after a television interview on the reliability of the voter identification and results transmission technology that is central to the August 8 election.
The police reported that Musando’s body was found dumped near Kikuyu Town on Sunday, alongside that of an unidentified woman, and taken to City Mortuary where relatives identified it this morning, according to Daily Nation online and other sources.
The recovery of the body alongside that of woman sparked heated discussion by Kenyans on social media following an early morning allegation by Jubilee MP Moses Kuria that, while the country was looking for the IEBC official, he was in fact in voluntary hiding, “enjoying sweet time with a woman”. Mr Kuria later deleted the post, a screenshot of which is provided below.
Mr Musando’s disappearance on the eve of the testing of the commission’s IT system for the election, earlier planned to for this morning, raised concern about the preparations for the election since the good functioning of the system is at the heart of the credibility of the election. His cold blood killing sent chills down the spine of electoral officials and Kenyans at large as to whether the election will be conducted in a free environment.
While the IEBC Register has 19 million voters, more than one million of these are voters who have died and should have been cleaned from the Register, according to KPMG which undertook a forensic audit on the Register as required by law. Kenya has an inefficient death registration system.
The testing of the kits for biometric voting was seen as a key event to guarantee the credibility of the election and had been demanded by the opposition and international observers including former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is leading the Carter Foundation observer mission.
IEBC officials have reaffirmed that the biometric identification technology will ensure that only genuine voters cast their ballots since the system captures details of voters as they walk into polling stations. In addition to dead voters, the opposition also unearthed the presence of over 400,000 cases of double registration, a report confirmed by IEBC.
Mr Musando’s disappearance was reported to the country on Sunday by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati who said the director had not been seen since Friday night. The director had been in office Friday and appeared at KTN television channel where he affirmed the finality of presidential election results declared at polling stations, a new guarantee to the electoral process recently won by the opposition through the courts but which the Jubilee government finds controversial.
He was driving himself home by around 10pm Friday when he is believed to have been kidnapped by his killers. Police officers who collected the body from Kikuyu, a place that has become notorious for the recovery of victims of extrajudicial executions, apparently never suspected it could that of the IEBC officials.
Early today, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, who represents President Kenyatta’s home constituency and was a long time aide of the president’s before he joined politics, had also announced the recovery of Musando’s car through his Facebook post where he wrote:
“So this is Chris Musando’s vehicle right now here in Roysambu. The idiot is enjoying sweet time with a woman. And the story was that he is privy to ‘rigging’ and he can’t be found. Verily, verily, I say unto you Raila. You will not burn this country. Not when I am alive.”
The MP later deleted the post, but not before hundreds of Kenyans had taken screenshots of it. Musando had repeatedly reported to the police that his life was in danger, but it was not clear whether the police had taken any steps to protect him.
A Nation journalist who saw Musando’s body at the City Mortuary reported that it had deep cuts. “A cursory look at his remains, now at Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi, reveals a possible struggle with his killers, who overpowered, hit and finished him. The body has visible injuries in the back and left side of his head and on his belly.
“Both hands have cut wounds and the right forearm is broken. His face has no injury but fresh blood was oozing from the nose by Monday mid-morning. The neck also had many injuries, pointing to possible strangling and bludgeoning by the death squad,” the paper reported.