The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was Monday forced to suspend the testing of its election results transmission system after its acting ICT director was found dead.
No new date was given for the piloting of the electronic transmission of results, with the election just one week away.
Police found the remains of Chris Msando, who went missing on Friday, alongside that of an unidentified woman in Kikuyu, Kiambu County on Sunday and booked the bodies at City Mortuary in Nairobi at around 11 p.m., morgue attendants said.
“That will be postponed and a new date will be announced for that simulation exercise,” IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati told journalists.
The IEBC boss mourned Mr Msando as “one of the most dedicated employees” at the commission.
The IEBC official had earlier complained of threats to his life. Mr Chebukati described Mr Msando’s death as a murder and demanded that the killers be brought to book.
“There is no doubt that Chris was tortured and murdered. What we demand is that the killers of Chris Msando must be brought to book,” said Mr Chebukati.
“I demand from the government that they provide security to all employees of IEBC so that we may give Kenyans a free and fair election.”
The police were yet to release an official statement on the death of Mr Msando.
He was last seen on Friday night, and the last communication from him was an SMS sent to one of his colleagues at around 3 a.m. on Saturday morning, according to the IEBC.
A security camera last captured him in his grey Land Rover Discovery on Mombasa Road on Friday, at 2.30 a.m., police sources say.
However, his vehicle was found on Monday morning near PAC University in Nairobi’s Roysambu area but his whereabouts were unknown.
His family on Saturday reported him missing at Embakasi Police Station before the IEBC sent out a nationwide alert on Sunday.
It was not until Monday mid-morning that Mr Msando’s family members positively identified their kin at City Mortuary where they found the techie had been booked as “an unknown adult.”
The death of Mr Msando and the putting off the planned testing of the results transmission technology adds to the headwinds that have hit the IEBC in the run-up to next week’s polls.
Testing of IEBC’s election results transmission software is meant to ensure smooth relay of results from all the 40,883 polling stations and avoid a repeat of the 2013 scenario where the app collapsed, forcing the agency to revert to manual tallying.