The Ushahidi board has finally moved and pushed out its executive director Daudi Were almost two weeks after sexual harassment claims were brought out against him by the organisation’s former staff.
The claims against Were, a renowned and one of the pioneer bloggers in Kenya, were first reported by TechMoran on July 10 and later picked up by other outlets, eventually piling pressure on the organisation, which was ironically founded with the aim to help victims of such cases, to come out and address the accusations.
(TOP: Daudi Were, talks about launching Ushahidi with SmartMonkeyTV in a previous interview. Photo: YouTube).
In a statement issued on Saturday July 22, the board stated: “Following exhaustive consideration of the testimonies and evidence tabled by the respective parties in a sexual harassment claim, the board of Ushahidi has dismissed Executive Director, Daudi Were, with immediate effect.”
“As a company that was founded to enable people to be heard, Ushahidi has zero tolerance for injustice of any kind. In arriving at its decision, therefore, the board took all necessary steps to ensure fairness and respect for the human rights of the parties involved. Due process was followed in accordance with Kenyan employment laws, and, as the company is domiciled in the United States, American law related to sexual harassment was also applied. In addition, the guidance of objective and independent legal counsel was sought to prevent the possibility of internal partisan decisions.”
Following the decision to fire Were, the organisation has appointed Nat Manning, the current Chief Operations Officer, to act as the interim Executive Director.
Since the story broke out, members of the public who have previously interacted with the firm and its staff were left baffled by the board’s reluctance and perceived inaction leading to speculations of an attempt to cover up the issue and let it slide.
Whether the embattled ex-Ushahidi boss has deleted his LinkedIn profile can not be confirmed as it does not exist but a biography on Bloomberg states that Were has been an Interim Executive Director of Ushahidi since October 8th 2015 prior to which he served as the Project Director for Africa at the same organisation.
“Mr. Were manages key partnerships and custom Ushahidi deployments for organisations ranging from large multinational organisations to grassroots NGOs. Mr. Were is a Kenyan technology strategist, entrepreneur, social activist based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is regularly recognised as one of the most influential
Ushahidi, which translates to “testimony” in Swahili, was developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election violence in 2008. Since then, thousands have used its crowdsourcing tools to raise their voice. The organisation is based in Nairobi, Kenya and comprises of a global team.