Kenya elections: returning officer goes missing in Nairobi

A voter casting her ballot earlier this week

A voter casting her ballot earlier this week

As vote-counting in Kenya’s general elections continues, a returning officer has gone missing while on duty, according to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Daniel Musyoka, the returning officer for Embakasi East Constituency was last seen at his work station at the East African School of Aviation tallying centre on Thursday morning. According to the report by the IEBC, at around 9 am, his bodyguard escorted him from his house to the tally centre at the School of Aviation.

“At 9.45 am, Mr Musyoka excused himself from his desk to go and receive a call, and he did not return, nor has he been seen by his family," Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati said in a statement. 

He said that Musyoka’s family and the commission have been trying to reach him without success and his duties are now being handled by the returning officer. He urged the relevant security authorities to speedily investigate the unfortunate incident. It is not the first time that an election official in Kenya goes missing at a critical time.

In 2017, Chris Msando, who was in charge of the computerized information system of the IEBC went missing and was found dead just over a week before the polls that current contestant Raila Odinga lost to outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta. His body lay near another one of “an unidentified woman.” Investigations showed that Msando was tortured before being strangled.

“There’s no doubt that he was tortured and murdered,” Wafula Chebukati, the chair of the IEBC, told reporters outside the city mortuary in Nairobi back then.

Meanwhile, by 11.00 pm Saturday, the IEBC official results showed Raila Odinga leading with 2,826,080 (50.02%) votes against William Ruto with 2,787,872 (49.34%) George Wajackoyah with 23,513 (0.42%) David Waihiga 12,862 (0.23%) from results of 113 out of 291  constituencies.

These are the official results being released by the commission, while until Thursday evening, different tallying centres by media houses and private organisations were using form 34A (the polling station declaration forms) received at the IEBC, to make their tallies.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd