ND033 - Kenyan elections in turmoil after suspicious death official
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Kenyan elections in turmoil after suspicious death official

The death of a Kenyan official crucial to running the presidential election three days after he went missing has shocked the country. Christopher Msando, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission ICT Director is said to have been tortured and murdered just days before the 8 August national elections. This could undermine the credibility of the whole process.

Commotion ahead of upcoming
Kenyan elections

Msando was in charge of Kenya’s computerized voting system. The electoral commission chairman said Monday that the official had been found tortured and killed, as concerns grew that the East African nation’s vote again would face serious political turmoil.

“This is a brutal murder of our employee and we are demanding to know who killed him and why,” said IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati in a statement. He also added that the government should provide all IEBC officials with security so that they can give the Kenyans a free and fair election. To reduce the chances of fraud, Kenya will be using biometric voter identification technology and electronic transmission of results.

Msando publicly tried to reassure voters that the election results would not be tampered with. As a consequence of this devastation course of events, a scheduled test run of the technology now has been postponed.

Diplomats from the United States and the United Kingdom in Kenya said they are gravely concerned about Msando’s death and offered the Kenyan government assistance to investigate the death.

Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta is locked in a tight race with Raila Odinga for the presidency. The 8 August presidential race is proving to be the most hotly contested in the history of the country. Kenyatta, who leads the Jubilee Alliance, is seeking a second and final five-year term. He retweeted a statement by his party condemning the brutal murder.

Human Rights Watch said the live electronic transmission of voting results is a source of controversy in Kenya; the opposition party is claiming Kenyatta plans to rig the polls.

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