It is not all quiet at Ushahidi as key executives at the crisis mapping service are being accused of systematically trying to hide sexual assault of women at the company while ensuring that the victims are gagged.
I am not surprised that this is happening at Ushahidi as this is one of the reason why the most vocal tech influentials in the country were targeted by people like Erik Hersman and Daudi Were.
According to the information which is now being availed, the accused is Daudi Were aka Mental Acrobatic. Daudi is one of the age old Kenyan bloggers and a founder of one of the first groupings for local bloggers, Kenya Bloggers Webring. The KBW couldn’t survive for long as free expression was not something that Daudi Were and his ilk embraced.
However, the sexual harassment accusations have not started today. They started from as way back as 2006 but anyone who tried to push them further and force the Mashada, iHub and Ushahidi to investigate the same have always been individually targeted and if they are employees of the organizations, they have always been fired. 3 women including the latest one are said to be vocal victims. One woman is reported to have even recorded a nasty exchange.
The exchanges in one of the Whatsapp groups;
Ushahidi issued a press release without clarifying on the matter. When Ushahidi issued a statement yesterday, it was clear that they thought that the only process people should expect is through the Kenyan judicial processes. This is an ethical issue which cannot be left on laws alone. The statement was more of a “we think that the victim left Ushahidi” so there is not much we can do about the claims.
While the victims are hounded out, Daudi Were and his wife who also works at iHub,, are siting comfortably there.
This whole culture of abuse, exploitations and gross impunity around iHub and Ushahidi can only be blamed on Ory Okolloh, Nanjira Sambuli, Rebecca Wanjiku, Jessica Coalco and Juliana Rotich who are powerful women in the Kenyan tech scene but have been aware of what is happening to women around Ushahidi and iHub.
The latest incident happened 2 months ago in Italy. It is said that Daudi Were, the lady and other Ushahidi executives were in Italy for team building. At night and being close to each other at night, Daudi Were started making sexual advances on one of the ladies there called Angela. The lady was not entertaining it. So he found a way and started playing nice. When they were through with the evening activities, Daudi and the woman were walking back to the room when Daudi tried to grab the woman and forcefully push her into his room for the night. The woman shouted “Daudi FUCK YOU!!!.”
It is reported that when Daudi came back and the lady reported the issue to Ushahidi team verbally in Italy and in writing in Kenya, Ushahidi fired the lady.
Ushahidi is not willing to take action on Daudi Were because he is the man who is aware of how Erik Hersman has looted funds at Ushahidi. He is very much aware of the ugly going ons and to help cover his randy character, he has hired the services of lawyer Fred Ojiambo. Fred told those asking questions about the issue, “when the lady shouted FUCK YOU!!, it clearly shows that she wanted to be fucked by Daudi.”
Claims that Daudi Were preys on young girls is not new. The man has been accused of this from as early as 2006. Conrad Akunga, former PS Bitange Ndemo, Erik Hersman, Ory Okolloh, Juliana Rotich, Paul Kobia (founder of Mashada) have all been aware. They were just not interested in following up on the matters but instead, helped Daudi Were walk shoulder high and continue exploiting many more women around the tech scene.
When the issue was being discussed in one of the Whatsapp groups, Eunice Kariuki who was formerly with ICT Board IGNORANTLY claimed that the issue will destroy the local tech eco system if known. Eunice is wrongly assuming that only those who are associated with iHub and Ushahidi are driving the local startup eco system. Hey Eunice, you are ignorant on this and this is either by default or design. You are either scaremongering to protect the perverts or you truly thinks that Ushahidi is the local startup/tech eco-system.
One of the reasons why this is not likely to be addressed by Ushahidi is becauseis currently fundraising and since Ushahidi, iHub and BRCK revolves around the same group of individuals, the investors might withdraw. It is also being rumoured that BRCK has completely run out of funding and is now dependent on Ushahidi to pay for salaries of the people behind the project.
What do you think? Please send us your thoughts, tips and ideas to email@example.com