Chris Musando, information and communication technology (ICT) director of the Kenyan Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), has been killed just seven days before the country’s general election.
According to Reuters, the electoral body said Musando was tortured before he died.
He was reportedly seen last on Friday last week.
Musando was said to be one of the few people that had knowledge about the whereabouts of the servers at IEBC.
The Star, a Kenyan newspaper, said he had given central police station officers reports of death threats.
Following his murder, the country’s electoral body has asked the government to provide security for its officials.
“There’s no doubt that he was tortured and murdered,” Wafula Chebukati, IEBC chairman, told journalists.
“The only issue is who killed him and why… I demand from the government that they provide security for all members of the IEBC for them to give Kenya free and fair elections.
“The last communication from him was an SMS sent to one of his colleagues at around 3am on Saturday morning.”
Opposition leaders have also expressed fear that Musando’s death could pose serious threats to the upcoming election.
Musalia Mudavadi, a founding member of the opposition National Super Alliance, said the man’s killing was an attempt “to drive a dagger into the heart of the forthcoming election”.
“It telling that the key person who was perhaps holding very vital passwords has been eliminated at this delicate time,” he said at a press conference.
Otsieno Namwaya, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch, has called for an “urgent” investigation into the murder.
Rashid Abdi, regional analyst at international crisis group, also expressed fear that public confidence in the vote could be affected.
“This is someone who was involved in a critical component of the elections – the electronic infrastructure. This will definitely raise suspicious and undermine public confidence in the outcome,” he said.