Monday, December 5, 2022

How mysterious abductions took place at Bomas 48hrs to presidential results

A report that appeared in Kenyan daily newspaper, The Standard, on Sunday lifted the lid on how abductions at Bomas of Kenya during the tallying of the presidential results were carried out.

The report said that the abductions, which appeared to have been plotted started when some government officials through the security agencies triggered a security gap that appeared to have been deliberately thought-of.

“On the morning of Saturday, August 13, a contrived security gap exposed the IEBC’s staff in Bomas to the vagaries of rogue elements who had taken more than usual interest in events at the centre, our investigations reveal,” the report said.

Apparently, the investigation by the Sunday Standard said, a special unit that guarded critical areas and entries in the auditorium was reassigned on Friday evening to create the lapse.

“They left Bomas for another unspecified duty never to come back. The unit included highly trained, specialised officers from crack units previously involved in risk assignments such as counter terrorism operations. These special areas had IEBC employees and commissioners undertaking backroom operations. The rogue elements then had a free hand to roam around, disrupting activities and throwing their weight around,” the report said.

It quoted a source saying that many accreditations were given out to suspicious people. roam freely to access all areas. “IEBC Commissioner Francis Wanderi, who would later rebel against his chairman alongside three others, was in charge of security and accreditation at the national tallying centre,” the report said.

This allegedly paved the way for abductions of IEBC officials. “An IEBC officer, Benjamin Kimwii, was abducted and spirited to the anti-terrorism police unit offices where he endured three days of interrogation before being released without charge,” the report said.

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“On the morning of Sunday, August 14, IEBC manager of electoral operations, Gideon Balang, and a driver were snatched from Bomas by unknown people. At around 10am, a service provider, Japheth Dibo, who was working on a part-time basis at the IEBC call centre, also went missing after attending to an assignment within Bomas,” the report said.

Moments later the newspaper reported, the office of the IEBC Director of Voter Registration and Electoral Operations, Moses Sunkuli, was broken into and ransacked by unknown people. The report cited that the office was 10 metres from the Bomas police station. It quoted a source saying that Sunkuli was so shaken that he dropped everything and fled the same day to an unknown destination.

“We realized later that all the people who were abducted were asked to go back to their rural homes,” the newsaper quoted a police source at Bomas of Kenya.

“With a number of critical staff frightened; on the run or kidnapped, fear pervaded Bomas of Kenya on the morning of Sunday, August 14. According to sources, that morning, there was an attempt to take away three other staff at the auditorium but this was thwarted by officers assigned to the commissioners,” the report further said.

It added that there were also attempts to abduct returning officers arriving at Bomas from different parts of the country with physical forms 34As.

“We had brought the forms from the polling stations, and they wanted them, only that they did not know which retuning officers were from the same constituencies,” the newspaper quoted a returning officer.


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