Court reinstates IT expert accused of deleting IEBC voters' data

Justice Gikeri observed that Kioko’s supervisor admitted that nothing got lost as it was recovered in the new system. [iStockphoto]

An Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) IT employee has been reinstated following an unfair termination of his contract after claims of deleting voters’ data from the servers.

Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Jacob Gikeri found that the IEBC was unreasonable for firing Cosmus Kioko without producing evidence or making reference to the allegations against him.

Kioko was fired on January 6 this year over claims that 19.8 million records were lost during the creation of new servers that were to be used in the 2022 general election.

However, Justice Gikeri observed that Kioko’s supervisor admitted that nothing got lost as it was recovered in the new system.

“Granted that no data was lost as the letter of dismissal appears to suggest, the court is not satisfied that the respondent has shown that it had a valid and fair reason to terminate the petitioner’s employment,” said Justice Gikeri.

In the case, the court heard that on April 10 last year, Kioko’s supervisor requested him to create and install the new servers.  He was also to migrate 20 million voters’ data from the old BVR to the new one.

IEBC stated that the data was vital to delivering a credible election. It claimed Kioko was negligent.

It argued that he was qualified and experienced, and received clear instructions from the ICT director, but lacked concentration.

The commission’s disciplinary committee met on December 20, 2022, and asked him to attend a hearing on January 3 this year.

It emerged that the commission had also lodged a claim that Kioko had spied and phished information on the voter register in 2017.

However, Kioko denied the allegations.  He told the court that IEBC waited for nine months before summoning him. According to him, the delay was illegal and against his labour rights.

In his further reply to the IEBC’s response, Kioko asserted that there was no data that was lost as the country held its general election without a hitch.

 

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