News Brief

Kenyan Electoral Official Murdered Days Before National Vote

Chris Msando, the IT manager responsible for Kenya's new voting system was found dead on Monday, outside of Nairobi.

NAIROBI—Chris Msando, the IT manager who had developed a new computerized voting system, which he said "could not be hacked," was found dead this morning—a week ahead of Kenya's upcoming election on August 8.


Msando had gone missing on Friday. His body and that of an unidentified woman were found on Monday in the Kikuyu area outside of the capital, police said. According to BBC Africa, he was slated to lead the public testing of the new voting system today.

"There was no doubt he was tortured and murdered," said Wafula Chebukati, the electoral commission's chairperson for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

"In our mind as a commission, the only issue is who killed him and why, and that is the question that must be answered."

The new Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System (KIEMS) developed by Msando will count and transmit this election's results. The system used in the 2013 election was riddled with complications, leading to votes being counted by hand.

The upcoming election between incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, has led to increased political tension in the country, as some fear the possibility of election fraud and violence between opposing parties. Msando's death has increased such concerns.

The National Super Alliance, the main opposition, called the murder "heinous" and described the killing as "an attempt to drive a dagger in the heart" of the election.

Many Kenyans are sending condolences via twitter, and expressing their frustrations about what appears to be yet another case of government corruption and intimidation—using the hashtag #RIPMsando. Despite the events that have unfolded, some are remaining hopeful for a fair and credible election.

Interview
Photo: Jolaoso Adebayo.

Crayon Is Nigeria's Prince of Bright Pop Melodies

Since emerging on the scene over two years ago, Crayon has carved a unique path with his catchy songs.

During the 2010s, the young musician Charles Chibuezechukwu made several failed attempts to get into a Nigerian university. On the day of his fifth attempt, while waiting for the exam's commencement, he thought of what he really wanted out of life. To the surprise of the thousands present, he stood up and left the centre, having chosen music. "Nobody knew I didn't write the exam," Charles, who's now known to afro pop lovers as Crayon, tells OkayAfrica over a Zoom call from a Lagos studio. "I had to lie to my parents that I wrote it and didn't pass. But before then, I had already met Don Jazzy and Baby Fresh [my label superiors], so I knew I was headed somewhere."

His assessment is spot on. Over the past two years Crayon's high-powered records have earned him a unique space within Nigeria's pop market. On his 2019 debut EP, the cheekily-titled Cray Cray, the musician shines over cohesive, bright production where he revels in finding pockets of joy in seemingly everyday material. His breakout record "So Fine" is built around the adorable promises of a lover to his woman. It's a fairly trite theme, but the 21-year-old musician's endearing voice strikes the beat in perfect form, and when the hook "call my number, I go respond, oh eh" rolls in, the mastery of space and time is at a level usually attributed to the icons of Afropop: Wizkid, P-Square, Wande Coal.

"My dad used to sell CDs back in the day, in Victoria Island [in Lagos]," reveals Crayon. "I had access to a lot of music: afrobeat, hip-hop, Westlife, 2Face Idibia, Wizkid, and many others." Crayon also learnt stage craft from his father's side hustle as an MC, who was always "so bold and confident," even in the midst of so much activity. His mother, then a fruit seller, loved Igbo gospel songs; few mornings passed when loud, worship songs weren't blasting from their home. All of these, Crayon says, "are a mix of different sounds and different cultures that shaped my artistry."

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Review: Emtee’s Third Studio Album Highlights What Matters Most

In light of all that he has endured, Emtee sounds deeply reflective, wiser and in tune with his true self on 'LOGAN'.