Wafula Chebukati was the only IEBC commissioner who knew about 3 Venezuelans arrested at JKIA on the eve of the August elections.
According to IEBC Commissioner Irene Masit, only agency Chairman Wafula Chebukati was aware that three Venezuelan nationals were entering the country in July of this year with voting materials.
Masit charged Chebukati with usurping his authority and acting alone on issues that required the awareness of all the commissioners in her response affidavit to Raila Odinga’s Supreme Court case contesting the results of the presidential election.
Masit claims that Chebukati failed to inform them—either during the plenary or through another channel of communication—that foreigners would be flying in with election materials, which the commission, according to Masit, was not even anticipating at the time.
“…it is not by surprise that in the month of July 2022 when the nation was struck by the news of Venezuela nations Salvador Javier Sosa Suarez, Joel Gustavo Rodriguez Garcia, and Jose Gregorio Castellanos, a matter that is now in the public domain, arrested having arrived in the country with election materials none of the commissioners was aware of their coming nor possession of election materials but the chairman, Wafula Wanyonyi Chebukati,” she said in her affidavit.
“…the chairperson indeed went out publicly to defend the foreign nationals when the commission did not even expect election materials at the time thereby depicting the true person of the chairperson of the IEBC singly usurping the powers of the Commission albeit illegally and unconstitutionally.”
She further added: “I was not aware of the coming of the foreign nationals with election materials and the same had not been brought to the attention of the commissioners either at the plenary or through any other form of communication and it was surprising as it was suspicious that the chairperson was the only person aware of their arrival.”
Masit also rubbished a claim made by Chebukati that she, alongside three other four commissioners attempted to force a presidential election run-off.
She termed this claim as merely meant to dent their credibility after they had protested against the commission Chairman’s decision to announce what she termed as unverified results.
DCI report on Venezuelans infiltrating IEBC systems
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) report has revealed how the three foreigners were able to gain entry into the systems remotely and had unrestricted access to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) result transmission server.
Salvador Javier Suarez, Jose Gregorio Camargo Castellano, and Joel Gustavo Rodriguez Garcia were detained on July 21 while in possession of unregistered electoral materials at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The DCI investigation states that the exhibits retrieved from the three foreigners contained significant IEBC data and proof of access to the election system, which had a high potential to expose the entire process to outside interference.
“It was established that the confiscated exhibits had substantial information held in the IEBC systems are in full control (sic) of foreigner’s employees of M/S Smartmatic International Holdings BV and Seamless Limited who have been contracted by IEBC,” reveals the forensic analysis report.
IEBC contracted Smartmatic to provide voter identification and results in transmission technology in the August 9 General Election.
At least 19 foreigners had administrative rights to access IEBC systems. There were only two Kenyans with such rights, according to the DCI findings.
“It was established that the users who have administrative rights in the system are 21 in number, of which 19 are foreigners and only two Kenyans have access to the IEBC system,” states the report.
The evidence, which comprised a 1TB external disc, a laptop, six flash disks, three mobile phones, one tablet, a Sim card, and a monitor, were subjected to a forensic analysis by the DCI.
A laptop exhibit that was taken from Mr. Castellano and subjected to forensic examination showed that the user had been able to log in remotely using remote desktop software to the IEBC local IP address.
The person had been accessing IEBC systems since March 2022, according to the laptop’s remote access history to the IEBC IP address.
“It was established that one Jose Gregorio Camargo Castellano is one of the IEBC system administrators and in a position to remotely access the entire IEBC data and has the capacity to add, delete, edit or manipulate in any manner the entire IEBC system,” states the report.
The laptop had an IEBC database schematic diagram, an IEBC network diagram, the IEBC Kiems kit deployment list, usernames, and passwords, among other components crucial to the IEBC electoral technology system.
Analysis on the hard disk seized from Mr. Castellanos revealed that it contained settings for remote access to the IEBC server, a results transmission system, access rights for IEBC system users, and system updates.
The revelation comes in the backdrop of an explosive affidavit by Mr. Justus Nyang’aya, one of the commissioners who disowned the results as announced by Mr. Chebukati, that claimed that a foreigner identified as Godino Omor was able to access the server and pull down the results posted.