On Thursday, July 22, three employees of Smartmatic International B.V, a firm contracted to deploy technology during the August 9, General Election was arrested.
The trio who had election stickers was arrested upon arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
It is reported that the three could not explain how they were delivering sensitive election materials contrary to security and government protocol.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukai on Friday, July 22, demanded the immediate release of the three.
Chebukati in a statement said the three individuals are key personnel responsible for the deployment and management of election technology infrastructure.
He said the commission has a valid contract executed between itself and Smartmatic International B.V for the supply, delivery, installation, testing, commissioning, support, and maintenance of the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) kits.
Chebukati, who is also the Returning Officer for presidential candidates said their arrest and detention without justification is an exhibition of hardworking persons who are only keen to deliver free and fair elections.
“The brazen decision of the security authorities to arrest, detain and confine in a solitary hideout the three personnel without justification, is an exhibition of intimidation on hardworking persons who are only keen to deliver a robust technology infrastructure for conduct of a credible, secure and verifiable election,” Chebukati said.
NPS spokesperson Bruno Shioso however defended the move by police to arrest the foreigners saying the police wanted to understand why the passenger was carrying the materials and who had given them the election materials.
He said the investigations revealed that the stickers recovered are bone-fide property of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
“The arrest, impounding and subsequent investigations into the material were necessitated by the sensitivity of election material,” he said.
They have however been released.