The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has protested the arbitrary arrest and harassment of three election technology officials at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
According to the IEBC Chair, the three are key personnel responsible for the deployment and management of election technology infrastructure for the august polls
“It is with extreme consternation that the commission has learnt the arrest of three key personnel responsible for deployment and management of election technology infrastructure. The three personnel, who are employees of Smartmatic International B.V, were arrested upon arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from Venezuela. This is despite the commission secretary/ CEO explaining to the security authorities that the three personnel were in the country to execute a lawful contract relating to the deployment of technology in elections” Chebukati lamented
“The commission has a valid legal contract executed between itself and Smartmatic International B.V for supply, delivery, installation, testing, commissioning, support, and maintenance of the Kenya Integrated Election Management System” He explained.
The IEBC chairman said that the arrest, detaining, and confining in solitary the three foreigners in hideouts without justification amounted to intimidation as they are in the country to deliver a robust technology infrastructure for conduct of a credible, secure and verifiable election.
The commission lamented that the arrests are meant to slow down the deployment of technology in the forthcoming general election. They questioned the motive behind the arrest of the three technical personnel
“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””