Protesters demand rapid inquiry into murder of Kenya vote official

Independent Boundaries and Election Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati

Kenyan election official found dead days before national vote

"There is no doubt he was tortured and murdered", said IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati.

In an earlier statement, Chebukati said Msando was last seen Friday night and had sent a text message to a colleague early Saturday suggesting "that he was conscious and fully aware of his itinerary for that day".

Mr. Msando, who was in his 30s, had appeared on television only hours before he was killed, talking about how the IEBC was prepared for the election and was determined to make it a free and fair poll.

Kenyan elections have turned violent in the past, notably after the 2007 presidential vote that worldwide observers said was flawed.

The new Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System (KIEMS) developed by Msando will count and transmit this election's results.

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The statement from Boinnet says "police will work with the IEBC with a view to ensuring that all Commission employees are accorded the requisite security to enable them to discharge their mandate".

Slain Kenyan election official Chris Msando.

Mr Kuria reportedly posted a picture of himself pointing at a vehicle - a grey Land Rover Discovery - believed to be that of Mr Msando, which was found parked in Roysambu, Nairobi.

The United States and the United Kingdom have offered assistance in the murder investigation.

Tensions have risen in Kenya ahead of the presidential election, a bad-tempered and tight race between President Uhuru Kenyatta and longtime opposition leader Raila Odinga.

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In 2013, electronic voting machines suffered widespread malfunctions, and Odinga took his complaints to court, only to have them dismissed.

His death was announced one day after police killed an armed intruder at the home of Kenya's vice president following a near day-long siege.

Both sides have accused the other of underhand tactics in the run-up to the polls, with the president saying Odinga was trying to divide the nation and provoke violence, and the opposition leader claiming Kenyatta planned to rig the poll. The political protests and ethnic violence killed more than 1,200 people. Msando's death has raised fresh fears over Kenya's ability to deliver credible elections.

Rashid Abdi, regional analyst at International Crisis Group, said public confidence in next week's vote could be affected.

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