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Ushahidi Finally Fires Daudi Were, But Maybe the Board Should Also Go

Finally the serial sexual pervert at Ushahidi (11 women complaining that you sexually harassed them makes it serial) and the company’s Executive Director, Daudi Were has been fired by the Ushahidi board.

Daudi has been fired after public pressure mounted over allegations by several women detailing incidences where he lured them into sexual conversations which only pleased him, sent them pictures of his genitalia or just tried to have sex with them against their will. In such cases, the extreme ones never get to come out, especially from these sides of the world.

Ushahidi’s Juliana Rotich, Erik Hersman and David Kobia

From the perspective of the victim and one founder who later left, Ushahidi was first reluctant to act, treated the victim like the perpetrator or simply dismissed the claims.

The star witness who was brave enough to out Daudi Were, Angela Kabari, detailed her two experiences in a blog post which has been shared far and wide. Daudi even hired a lawyer who intimidated the victim, going as far as suggesting to her that by shouting “f&k you at Daudi, maybe she wanted to be f&&^d anyway.” Yes, lawyer Fred Ojiambo. Sad!!

It took Ushahidi’s board 6 months to make a decision on this. The same people who are prominently leading the Ushahidi blog are the same ones (Erik Hersman…..) who were blamed by Angani founders for trying to snatch their company. So this is a disgraced board. They don’t have any moral authority to continue leading anyone.


Ory Okolloh

Some have even wrongly suggested that Ushahidi is “the biggest Kenyan Tech startup.” I guess they are very wrong on this unless they mean to quantify size with the amount of publicity it can generate. In financial terms, Ushahidi pales in the shadow of the likes of Cellulant, Jambo Pay, Tangazo Letu, Craft Sillicon, Pesapal and eCitizen. It’s lazy to claim that Ushahidi is the only tech startup from Kenya worth talking about. There are people making good money from their startups than the $3 million grants which Ushahidi attracts every year.

Tech-wise, Ushahidi can’t even run close to most of the above. Consider than a platform like eCitizen has handled more than Ksh 14 Billion and generated more than $10million in revenue. These are verifiable figures. We are stuck with a one-sided narrative mostly peddled by Erik Hersman and his friends. These are FRAUDS!!!

Considering all these problems at Ushahidi, the untold stories of how Erik dethroned the iHub shareholders and how he came to own almost 100% of the company, the problem is Erik, David Kobia, Juliana Rotich, Ory Okolloh, Jessica Colaco and the clique around them willing to be silent and look away when their friends are committing the most injustice to people who are not as well networked as them.

The victim being a woman, I also tend to wonder what Daudi Were’s wife thinks. Remember the story of Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin? Daudi’s wife is Nekesa Were, a senior staffer at iHub. With iHub being inextricably linked to Ushahidi, Daudi’s wife was until yesterday her co-worker.

The community deserves to know what her own thoughts are regarding matters to do with sexual harassment, abuse of authority and values. Even the bible is very clear on this. Mark 10:8 talks about people becoming one because of marriage. What affects Daudi affects Nekesa. Daudi’s weird character coupled with the silence of Nekesa brings into question Nekesa’s own values and ideals.

Someone tried to argue the same on twitter but was shutdown by the cabal of trolls who were also effective in silencing some of us who saw the weird mannerisms of Daudi decades ago. See below;

Such characters even made it easy for Erik and Riyaz Bachani to bully the Angani founders when former wanted to disinherit the latter from their company. Why is it hard for Ory and many others in the circle of iHub, Ushahidi, BRCK, Gearbox and Savannah Box to speak out against what is happening?

I once heard that there was even a fight on the Ushahidi board over irregularities in management of finances and that might have been one of the reasons why the likes of Ory left on a huff. She even told one of her friends that it was a serious matter which her lawyers was handling. I guess it was conclusively handled, otherwise Ory is hiding a lot of evils at Ushahidi.

One individual who was once very close to Erik Hersman even revealed to me that the mess at iHub is deeper than is being revealed. Those who know much are either willing to keep quiet and look away as the body count keep piling, or like Daudi Were, they are so deeply linked in the mess that it’s almost impossible to separate them. Daudi knows how the Ushahidi funds have been looted. He knows that Savannah Fund was a connish idea from the start and it never even had money it once claimed to have and many more.

Some of us predicted the current mess as early back as 2012.

Considering the above, it’s fair to conclude that the current Ushahidi board is not serving the organisation by staying on while they abused the victims of Daudi Were and directly or indirectly worsened their status.

I have consistently asked friends of Erik Hersman like Toby Shapshak of The Stuff. What you hear loudest from them is silence. It’s a clique which is going to hear nor see no evil. In the meantime, more will still come from Ushahidi. It’s not smooth there. Shit is happening.

 

Written by Robert

Respected Kenyan blogger, tech evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle @RobertAlai or Facebook page (www.fb.com/RobertAlai).

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