“What we want is justice for Chris. Justice for IEBC and justice for the country,” Kenya’s electoral body intensified its demands on Monday into the death of Christopher Msando, who was was brutally tortured before being killed.
Msando’s death should be “urgently” investigated, Human Rights Watch said in a statement. “Msando’s killing comes as the electoral management body was due to audit its systems, a week away from the election day,” said the group’s Africa researcher Otsieno Namwaya. “Msando’s killing could have huge ramifications for Kenya’s elections given his pivotal role in the preparations,” Namwaya said. “The authorities need to investigate and to reassure Kenyans that the government is committed to a free and fair election.” The Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya) who termed the killing as ‘macabre murder’ they said, “They are deeply concerned with the continued unexplained insecurity incidents across the country and the extrajudicial killings.” National Super Alliance (Nasa), Kenya’s opposition coalition in a statement said the “heinous murder” of the Kenyan electoral commission’s IT head was an attempt. “The determination of the killers to send a chilling message that they will stop at nothing to ensure the outcome they desire,” the statement added. Robert F. Godec, Ambassador of the United States and Nic Hailey High Commissioner for the United Kingdom in a joint statement, said they are ‘gravely concerned’. “It is critical that Kenya have free, fair, credible and peaceful elections on August 8, and protection for IEBC staff is essential to achieving this goal.”
The two envoys have have offered their assistance in the investigation. At the same time, Wafula Chubukati the IEBC Chair said they shall appoint an independent lawyer to liase with the IG in the investigations.
Samwel Mohochi,ICJ Kenya Executive Director says, “ICJ Kenya shall not relent in ensuring that credibility of the election as enshrined in article 81 of the Constitution of Kenya is achieved in this general election and any criminal intimidation to frustrate the electoral outcome shall be resisted with all instruments of the law.”
Mohochi further called upon the IEBC to assure Kenyan citizens of the security and integrity of the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (KIEMS). “We note that the August General Election is less than Eight (8) days away and the said killing has a grave direct correlation and implication for the full realization of fundamental individual freedom to political rights and free and fair elections.”
Chebukati, however, in a statement reiterated that, “The commission is aware of the discussions in the public sphere regarding possible implications to our ICT systems. We would like to reiterate that the commission has put in place elaborate business continuity plan to mitigate against a variety of risks including possible absence of key resource persons.”
To the IEBC,
“Chris was a very devoted manager and worked very closely with other managers and staff in the ICT Directorate to ensure that effective election management systems are in place. He was a gifted communicator and natural ICT communication Chief on KIEMS. He helped in simplifying complex technological process to the public.”
Msando’s death was confirmed less than an hour before he was scheduled to oversee the test run of the live results transmission system. He had been promoted to acting director of information and communications technology in May, after the then-director was sent on compulsory leave over a failure to cooperate with a computer systems audit stated Namwaya.
As investigations begin, Musando has joined the long list of many Kenyans whose killings are yet to be resolved. “There are still no answers to the horrid killings that have been happening in Kenya in the recent past similar to the killing of Chris Msando,” states ICJ Kenya.
Many are skeptical as to whether Kenya’s existing law enforcement agencies will undertake credible investigations, compile compelling evidence, nab the criminals, and successfully prosecute them for the murder of Msando. As Kenyans head to the polls, many politicians campaigning to be voted in are yet to stand out and say they will pursue the question of the murder of Musando until the perpetrators of the heinous crime are not only apprehended charged but more importantly successfully prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to the lawful sentence for murder being death.
David Indeje is a writer and editor, with interests on how technology is changing journalism, government and society. He has been practicing Journalism since 2008. Environment, Agriculture Business, Health and Gender Development stories are his passion.David can be reached on: (020) 528 0222
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