Puzzle of two polls and two slain IEBC officials

Wednesday, August 17th, 2022 04:49 | By
Daniel Mbolu Musyoka. PHOTO/File

The body of the missing Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) official, who disappeared on August 11 while on duty at Embakasi, was on Monday night found dead in Loitoktok, Kajiado County.

Police said Daniel Mbolu Musyoka, 53, could have been murdered elsewhere and his body dumped in Loitoktok, over 70km away. The murder bears a strong resemblance to that of IEBC’s former ICT manager Chris Msando five years ago. Both were abducted, murdered and their naked bodies dumped in neighbouring counties.

Musyoka was the returning officer for Embakasi East Constituency. He went missing at around 9.30am, shortly after he was picked from his residence by his assigned bodyguard, an Administration Police officer. The officer said Musyoka excused himself to make a call and was never seen again.

Loitoktok Sub-County Police Commandant Kipruto Ruto said the body was identified by his sisters, Ann Mboya and Mary Mwikali, at Loitoktok Level 4 Hospital Mortuary on Monday night. The body had visible signs of struggle. It was spotted by herders at Kilombero River in Amboseli National Park, Kajiado South.

The police boss said officers visited the  and moved the body to the mortuary. “This is a matter of national interest. We are waiting for further communication from our seniors in Nairobi. We have secured the scene and investigations have started,” said Kipruto.

A Maasai shawl and a track suit were recovered a few metres from where the body was. No identification documents were found at the scene.

Forensic analysis

Yesterday, detectives from Embakasi Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) visited the scene for forensic analysis and the mortuary.

They said the body would be kept at the morgue and that the Chief Government pathologist Johansen Oduor would conduct an autopsy today.

“The body was naked and appeared fresh, indicating it could have been dumped. The area is busy and frequented by herdsmen in search of pasture. It is possible the body was discovered shortly after being dumped,” the police boss said

 A day after he went missing, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati issued a statement, saying the case had been reported at Embakasi Police Station, Occurrence Book (OB) number 24/11/08/22.

According to the report, the returning officer went out to receive a phone call but never returned. “At around 9am on August 11, 2022, Musyoka’s bodyguards escorted him from his house to the East African School of Aviation tallying centre. At around 9.45am, Musyoka excused himself to receive a phone call, but did not return,” Chebukati said. He directed that in Musyoka’s absence, the Deputy Returning Officer, Embakasi, take charge of the electoral duties.

Yesterday, while announcing the presidential results, Chebukati said members of his commission had been intimidated and harassed. “It has not been an easy journey. We have staff who have been profiled. The Embakasi returning officer disappeared while on duty while others have been arbitrarily arrested for no reason and we don’t know where they are,” he said.

The IEBC called on security agencies to speedily investigate the matter.

The bodyguard, Constable Dennis Maina Gichure, has already recorded a statement with the police.

The family says Musyoka could have been murdered as a result of election-related issues, and now wants detailed and speedy investigations.

In Nakuru, Musyoka’s family and friends called on police to expedite the investigation and apprehend the killers. 

Speaking in Nyonjoro village in Lanet, where Musyoka resided, they said it was unfortunate that Musyoka died while on duty.  Martha Wairimu, a neighbour, said: “Musyoka had no personal interest in the poll. We don’t understand why he had to die. We don’t want his death to go unpunished, as was the case with Msando”. 

Leah Mwangi, another neighbour, said the government should take responsibility for the loss, adding that he should have been provided with security at all times during the polls period. 

Yesterday, AIC Lanet Umoja pastor Daniel Njuguna said Musyoka had asked for prayers before leaving for  Nairobi.  “He stood up in the congregation and asked for prayers, only to later learn he was missing,” said Njuguna. 

He added: “He was a very committed choir member —  a very humble man who never crossed paths with people.” 

Musyoka’s wife, Tabitha Mbolu, was overwhelmed by emotions. She was escorted to a vehicle that took her to Kajiado for first-hand information. 

Ann Kyalo, a cousin, said family representatives who left for Oloitoktok had identified his body.  “He was one person who always avoided doing wrong to others. We have never heard of him being at loggerheads with anyone,” said Kyalo. 

On her part, Margaret Maangi, Musyoka’s colleague, said the news had left them heartbroken as many residents would run to him for help and advice. 

Meanwhile, Kenyans living abroad are also calling on Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to investigate the claims by electoral commission boss Wafula Chebukati, of intimidation, harassment, violence, profiling and disappearance of key officials. They are also demanding the probe to be concluded within 14 days, failure to which they would take the necessary legal action.

- Additional reporting by Roy Lumbe and Nancy Gitonga

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