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Kenya: Electoral Commission's ICT Manager still missing

Kenya: Electoral Commission's ICT Manager still missing

Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has announced that police and family members are working together to locate the electoral organisation's ICT Manager Chris Musando who is believed to have been missing since the start of the weekend.

Musando's is among the IEBC's key staffers ahead of the country's elections which take place in just over a week's time.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Wafula Chebukati, Chairperson of the IEBC, is quoted as saying the ICT manager, who is not identified by name, was last seen on Friday night.

"The last communication from him is an SMS text sent to one of his colleagues at around 3:00 am on Saturday morning. The content of the SMS suggests that he was conscious and fully aware of his itinerary for that day."

Chebukati confirms that the matter has now been reported to police who are working with the Commission and family members to establish the ICT manager's whereabouts.

He added that the IEBC will issue a more comprehensive statement in due course after more facts are established.

The management of ICT infrastructure during Kenya's upcoming elections has been of particular concern due to the increased use of electronic means to facilitate the process, as well as the growing impact of fake news spread through the internet among other issues.

Chebukati has indicated that the Commission has put an integrated electronic electoral system to govern the process of voter registration, verification and results transmission for the election.

"An online platform to query the register of voters is available on the Commission's website. One needs to enter only your ID or Passport number, whichever document was used to register with, and the names, polling station and other details will appear. Voters may also access the same information by sending an SMS message to short code number 70000. We will continue to provide this SMS register query service until the day before the elections."

Internet disruption

Government officials have given the assurance in recent weeks that the internet would not be compromised or interrupted either leading up to- or during the elections.

Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary for Information Communication and Technology (ICT) told private Kenyan television station NTV that Kenya's laws forbid a shutdown of the internet.

"We are not other (African) governments. We have gone through a very new constitution that Kenyans put in place, we have protected that constitution, we continue to implement the constitution - so why would we go against our constitution? I'm not sure why anybody (would) ask whether we should switch it off. At this stage it is not a discussion we have had and there is no reason for us to follow what other countries have done, unless there is something that I'm not aware of or that the government is not aware of that would lead us to switching off."

Photographs of Musando's car were distributed on social media early on Monday morning as police towed the ICT Manager's vehicle to Nairobi's Kasarani Police Station.


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