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Prez Kenyatta deeply saddened by IT head’s death

BY: Daily Graphic
Late Chris Msandoa
Late Chris Msandoa

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has said he is "deeply shocked and saddened" by the murder of Kenya’s Electoral Commission Information Technology (IT) Manager, Mr Chris Msando.

Msando was in charge of the electronic voting system for Kenya's election before he was found dead at the weekend.

President Kenyatta said in a statement that "Chris was a man who gave himself to the service of his country and its institutions".

He urged the public to "allow investigations to proceed calmly".

"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," he said.

The election is only a few days away and Mr Kenyatta added that "this is not the time to allow a tragedy such as this to divide us".

He added that Kenyans should make sure "that the ideal for which he lived - the free and fair choice of our leaders - is realised".

Msando went missing last Friday and "there was no doubt he was tortured and murdered," said the  Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s Chairman, Mr Wafula Chebukati.

Mr Chebukati said, "In our mind as a commission, the only issue is who killed him and why, and that is the question that must be answered."

The chairman demanded that the government provide security for all of his staff. He is now being protected around-the-clock, local media report, with six more police officers assigned to protect him from last Monday.

Tension is high as the presidential election is expected to be a close race between incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and long-time opponent Raila Odinga.

Police said last Monday that the bodies of Msando and an unidentified woman had been found in the Kikuyu area on the outskirts of Nairobi and taken to the city mortuary.

Kenyan newspaper The Star reported that Msando's body was found with one arm missing.

Today was supposed to be a big day for Chris Msando - he was to oversee the public testing of the voting system which has been vaunted by the IEBC as key to eliminate vote rigging and to deliver a credible election.

The Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System (KIEMS) will be used to identify voters and transmit results.

Meanwhile, things are hotting up in Nairobi's Jevanjee Gardens, the place where small and intense groups of mostly male political enthusiasts huddle together to debate latest events and issues of the day.

Known as Bunge la Mwananchi (The People's Parliament), these groups have been meeting every day, and have their roots in Kenya's push for multi-party democracy back in the 1990s.