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Police storm NASA tallying centre in Runda to rescue colleagues

By Vincent Achuka | Published Fri, August 11th 2017 at 21:48, Updated August 11th 2017 at 22:11 GMT +3
The NASA team pack up for another location after the scuffle where security officers attempted to sneak into the coalition’s tallying centre in Runda. [Willis Awandu, Standard]

The National Super Alliance (NASA) was forced to evacuate its staff and cart away equipment from its tallying centre in Nairobi's Runda after Flying Squad officers raided it to rescue two of their colleagues.

 The two believed to be police officers or National Intelligence Service (NIS) agents were roughed up after infiltrating a press conference called by the coalition.

NASA had demanded that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) gives it access to its servers. It said this would help clear doubts about doctoring of results in IEBC's systems.

"We have given an offer to the commission and a challenge that in order to bring this matter to an end we should be given access to their servers. And not us but all stakeholders including Jubilee," said Siaya Senator James Orengo. "...we have used their own figures and there are various omissions that have emerged from the ground. The results that have been displayed on the monitors here may not be a reflection of what is contained in form 34 A."

The two men, disguised as journalists, who had concealed fire arms were briefly detained, roughed up and had their phones taken away for some time after they failed to provide their credentials. Gigiri police boss Vitalis Otieno could not be reached on phone.

It took the intervention of Flying Squad officers who arrived in two cars to rescue their colleagues. But the drama did not end there. Another officer in plain clothes soon arrived and for about half an hour scanned the perimeter wall of the property while trying to peep inside. He was picked up 30 minutes later in a black Range Rover before another car full of plain clothes police officers drove to the property and parked about 50 metres away.

This prompted those inside to dismantle the computer systems and cart away thousands of documents to another house in the vicinity.

"We have already been infiltrated and it is just a matter of time before the police raid this centre so we have been forced to de-commission it," said David Ndii, the head of NASA's technical advisory team.

Dr Ndii said they had been forced to make public the existence of the tallying centre in order to clear rumours that the coaliation does not have evidence to back its claims.

"We have over 150 volunteers working here who are committed to making sure that we have a democratic process," said Ndii.