Hello,

I’m Nat Manning. I’ve been appointed as the interim Executive Director of Ushahidi, following the dismissal of Daudi Were.

Taking on the responsibility of leading Ushahidi is an honour for me on many levels. Very few people are given the opportunity to work with – much less lead - an organisation that does the kind of good and makes the difference to society that Ushahidi does.

I knew from the moment I heard about Ushahidi at a tech conference six years ago that it was the type of organisation I wanted to see exist in the world.

The fact that it is made up of thirty people from ten different countries reinforced my conviction that collaboration is a force for good and that shared values drive the kind of innovation that enables social justice. It is an organisation that invents solutions in the face of crisis, including Rollcall in response to the Westgate attacks; embodies a culture of equality, such as our approach to pay equity; and represents radical opportunity for people from all over the world to create their own tools and solve their own problems. It’s an organisation that fosters the conception and development of powerful platforms, such as Documenthate.org and Uchaguzi, that help people raise their voice and the building of software that enables Harassmap and Safecity to exist.

All of us work at Ushahidi because it stands against injustice and violation of human rights in any form. Our work ethic and our internal policies on such issues are unambiguous. They amount to zero tolerance.

That said, having policies in place doesn’t necessarily mean that when an organisation is tested it will follow through on them. I have been gratified to see that Ushahidi passed the test in its first ever internal human rights case: the recent sexual harassment claim brought by Angela Kabari that concluded in the dismissal of Daudi Were.

As COO, I was in a position to see that the Ushahidi board conducted the investigation into the case with propriety and integrity, maintaining an objectivity that guaranteed that justice would be served. In spite of external pressure, much of it uninformed about due process and the facts of the case, the board focused on the absolutely essential factors for ensuring justice: the presentation of evidence, the right of all parties to legal counsel, and the right to a hearing. The board also brought in an independent legal firm to manage the entire process and eliminate the potential for internal partisanship. You can find more detail on the due process followed here.

As a close knit community of like minded people, all of us at Ushahidi are distressed about Angela’s suffering and the fact that it happened at a company whose entire reason for being is the prevention of suffering.

It is doubly sad that Angela chose to resign. Her passion for providing support to the grantees of Making All Voices Count to help them achieve their missions was integral to our success. It was also contagious. We will miss her.

Her legacy here at Ushahidi – and in the tech community at large - is her courage in standing up for herself and for what’s right and I will do my best to integrate that legacy into everything I do as Executive Director.

Her case has proved that Ushahidi is still the social justice enabler I joined six years ago and I will ensure that it continues to support our tens of thousands of users around the world who champion human rights, safety, and justice in all corners of the world. I know that for them, the world is a better place because Ushahidi is in it. Whether we drive into the office in Nairobi or work from desks in places as far flung as Saskatchewan and Kampala, the thirty of us will continue to create tools so that those who are marginalised can raise their voice. We will continue to help those who serve them listen and respond better.

With gratitude,

Nathaniel Manning