Ushahidi Board has dismissed Executive Director, Daudi Were, following sexual harassment claims filed two weeks ago by a former employee of Ushahidi.
The move comes after pressure was mounted for Ushahidi to respond and state what actions that had been taken since the Board was made aware of the incidents.
As pressure mounted, the Ushahidi Board, through one of the Board members, Juliana Rotich, then released a hastily prepared and unsigned statement informing the tech community of an ongoing internal investigation into the matter and later confirming that the CEO had been sent on a compulsory leave paving the way for investigation.
In a statement posted on the Ushahidi Blog, the board said that following the 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,” the statement further read.
Following his dismissal, Nat Manning, who has been Ushahidi Chief Operations Officer, will stand in as interim Executive Director.
The Board also publicly apologized to the former employee who was identified as Angela Kabari, following the sexual harassment she experienced while employed at Ushahidi.
“Sexual harassment is abhorred anywhere, and we are devastated that it happened here at Ushahidi, where we stand for human rights and aim to build a world where the disadvantaged can raise their voice. We are sorry that this happened to you. We are sorry for your pain,” read the statement.
The statement further read, “This was an inexcusable offense, and after following the legal process and requirements put on us by the law, we have dismissed the accused from the organization. Now that this has been concluded, we can speak publicly to you as humans and not as the custodians of the legal process. We would like to sincerely
thank you for speaking up and bringing this issue to our attention. Because of you, we will be more vigilant. Because of you, we will effect the necessary changes.”
Ushahidi is arguably one of Kenya’s most highly rated and globally recognised technology companies.