IEBC Foreign IT Experts Arrested With Election Materials

Collins Ogutu | 1 year ago
IEBC Foreign IT Experts Arrested With Election Materials

The National Police Service has on Friday morning  confirmed the arrest of the three Venezuelan nationals arrested at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) with IEBC related materials.

In a statement dated Friday July, 22, Police Spokesperson Brian Shioso said that proper procedure was not followed in the deployment of the materials according to the law leading to their arrest.

"The said stickers were not declared as per law and were not accompanied by an IEBC official as per routine procedure," said Brian Shioso, the National Police Spokesperson.

The commission chair Wafula Chebukati, however, maintained that IEBC followed due procedure by informing airport officials about their arrival in advance saying there is no clearity on why the police arrested them.

"The brazen decision of the security authorities to arrest, detain and confine in a solitary hideout the three personnel without justification is an exhibition of intimidation on hardworking persons who are only keen to deliver a robust technology infrastructure for conduct of a credible, secure and verifiable election,” Chebukati said.

The authorities indicated that the Wafula Chebukati led commission did not alert the police of their travel into the country so as to be given necessary security and escort.

The police, however, admitted that the said elections materials belongs to the electoral agency.

"Subsequent investigations have revealed that the stickers are bona fide property of the IEBC," said Shioso.

The suspected IT experts from Smartmatic International B.V. have been released from the custody and the stickers released to the IEBC.

Prior to their release Chebukati confirmed their arrest calling the police to free them describing the arrest as “unjustified intimidation, harassment and blackmail”.

"The commission is concerned about this unjustified intimidation, harassment and blackmail whatsoever and demands the immediate release of the three employees of Smartmatic International B.V,” said Wafula Chebukati.

The three  information technology experts arriving from Venezuela are tasked by the Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IEBC) to execute a lawful contract relating to the deployment of technology in elections as part of the commission's preparedness towards the August 9 polls.

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