The opposition coalition NASA this afternoon joined IEBC officials in demanding enhanced security for the Commissioners and staff of IEBC following the murder of the top IEBC official responsible for electronic voting technology.
The body of Christopher Msando who went missing on Friday night was recovered in Kikuyu, Kiambu County, on Saturday and was taken by police to the City Mortuary where his family members identified it today.
IEBC officials and other leaders who viewed the body expressed shock at the suffering the director underwent at the hands of his killers. The body, which was stripped of clothing, had cuts and damages in many parts including the head. One of his hands was chopped off.
“There is no doubt that he was tortured and murdered. I know post-mortem will be done. In our mind as a Commission, the only issue is who killed him and why,” IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said at the City Mortuary soon after viewing the assassinated officer’s body.
Chebukati demanded increased protection for IEBC staff who were terrified by the director’s killing. “We all know that we are a few days from the elections and we all know it is the duty of the government to provide security for all Kenyans and at this time, I want to demand that the government provides security for all employees of IEBC for us to give Kenyans a free and fair election.”
NASA leaders Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula and James Orengo also saw the body at the mortuary and later addressed the nation at the coalition headquarters at Capitol Hill, where they condemned the killing.
“We urge the IEBC Commissioners to soldier on and redouble their determination to provide Kenyans with the most transparent election in our history. We have only one demand: this election must meet the constitutional requirement of a free, transparent and credible election,” Mudavadi said at a press conference.
“In his multiple capacities, Chris was responsible for the entire body of electoral data that is the basis of next month’s election, including the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS). That includes voter identity verification, results transmission and the entire electronic tallying process,” Mudavadi said.
“Chris Msando’s brutal killing was an attempt to drive a dagger into the heart of the forthcoming election, and indeed a dagger into the heart of Kenyan democracy. But we are totally confident that this terrible crime will accomplish the opposite and strengthen all Kenyans’ will to demand a free, fair and credible election,” Mudavadi said.
“It is painful for us in the extreme to have to report that Chris was severely tortured. We do not at this moment wish to add to the anguish of his family by giving more details….That no effort was made to camouflage this killing as an accident shows the determination of the killers to send a chilling message that they will stop at nothing to ensure the outcome they desire,” he said.
The coalition said that, despite its grave concern about the implications of this murder and other recent developments, “NASA would like to re-emphasize and reiterate its commitment to participate in the general election on 8th August. As we have saying repeatedly on the campaign trail, our supporters must turn out in large numbers without fear, as there are too many of us and we cannot be intimidated.”
Mudavadi also assured of NASA victory. “On the 9th of August, there will be a NASA government and all Kenyans, whether belonging to NASA, Jubilee or any other party, will be assured of the fullest protection of their security from then onwards.”
Lawyer Nelson Havi tweeted to push back on the storyline of the killing started by Gatundu MP Moses Kuria this morning – that Msando was in the company of a female companion: “Company of female passenger is not a capital offense. GOK should drop that exhausted line and tell us who and why Chris Msando was killed.”
“Chris Msando was instrumental in the new integrated electronic management system. His death should be treated as premeditated murder,” Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior tweeted.