March 22, 2018

Senior Kenyan electoral official tortured, killed days before vote

02 August 2017, 12:48 | Marta Robbins

Kenyan election official found dead days before national vote

Top official of Kenya's electoral body goes missing

"We have service providers who are working on the project and as we speak none of the employees of IEBC have passwords", Mr Chebukati said. "I demand from the government that they provide security for all members of the IEBC for them to give Kenya free and fair elections".

Mr. Msando's murder is "a pretty shocking development, even by Kenyan standards", said Mark Bellamy, former US ambassador to Kenya and senior adviser of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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

Chris Musando, an ICT manager with the IEBC, had gone missing on Friday.

Chebukati said a test run of the technology had been planned for Monday but it was postponed as Msando played a crucial role in the process.

The presidential race is very close: Opposition leader Raila Odinga is favoured by 49 percent of voters compared with President Uhuru Kenyatta's 48 percent, according to a poll of 5,000 Kenyans across 47 counties released on Tuesday by Infotrak Research and Consulting.

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The brutal murder of a key election monitoring official barely a week before Kenyans vote for a president has heightened doubts of the east African nation's ability to hold a peaceful and credible election.

In a statement Monday, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec and his British counterpart Nic Hailey said their countries are "gravely concerned by the murder" and have offered to help with the investigation. "If a Recce Squad could be summoned to protect DP Ruto's home from an armed hawker, how couldn't they have tracked and protected Chris Msando", said the leaders ass quoted on Citizen TV on Tuesday, August 1. 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 country's elections have turned violent in the past, notably after the 2007 vote that worldwide observers said was flawed.

Rashid Abdi, regional analyst at International Crisis Group, said public confidence in the vote could be affected.

"Kenyatta, a scion of one of the most prominent political families in the country, does not want to make history as the first Kenyan president not to achieve re-election".

Odinga says that fraud robbed him of victory in the last two elections.

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