A former Flutterwave employee has decried intimidation, bullying and harassment by the company CEO. Clara Wanjiku took to Medium to speak out against Nigerian Fintech, Flutterwave, CEO Olugbenga Agboola, who she says has been harassing her for the last five years since she quit.
In yet another case of Startup CEOs causing heartache to past and present employees, Wanjiku went ahead to detail her experiences at the Fintech, saying it was about time the harassment came to a stop.
“I have been constantly belittled, lied about, harassed, had my name tarnished and almost arrested because of Olugbenga Agboola the CEO of Flutterwave and I am calling time. It has been almost 5 years of constant harassment and I am over it all,” Wanjiku, who now runs Credrails, an open finance platform backed by SoftBank, as CEO said.
As a precursor, Wanjiku points out that her performance was nothing short of stellar, as is evident in the screenshot below taken from Flutterwave’s Slack channel. She served as the Head of Implementation (Rest of Africa) until 2018 when she quit.
After quitting her job, Wanjiku said she requested the CEO, commonly referred to as GB, to sort out her dues. However, upon getting no response, she told him of her intention to engage a lawyer. This, GB took as a threat and dared her to go ahead, saying he would not be threatened or intimidated.
Eventually, her dues were paid, but by then she was facing fresh accusations of creating a Twitter account that was calling out male employees at Flutterwave, accusing them of sexual harassment.
Wanjiku said the company went ahead to sabotage a new opportunity she had landed in a Nigerian bank, claiming she was a ‘bad worker.’
The issues did not stop there. While on a business trip in May 2019, Wanjiku got a call from her mother who was under duress after the Police visited her office, claiming her daughter had been involved in M-Pesa fraud. Apparently, Flutterwave had retained Wanjiku’s phone number as the contact person for the M-Pesa paybill so they could keep doing business in the country. The paybill number was used by criminals, and Wanjiku had to make way to the Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to clear her name as both the company and CEO were not helpful.
“To put this into context for anyone outside Kenya; the last major terrorist attack was entirely funded via Mpesa. If this was terrorism-related I would have disappeared. No investigation. No shot at clearing my name and my life would have been ruined.” Wanjiku says.
Here is an email she wrote to the company regarding the issue
Meanwhile, she says that GB has been trying to malign her name by referencing the M-Pesa crime story and the sexual harassment narrative which she has clarified that she knows nothing about. She has since directed her lawyers to issue a cease and desist as she hopes that the constant attacks end.
“I am sick of it to be honest. It has been almost 5 years of constant bullying, trying to malign my name and just make my life more difficult. All of it stemming from me deciding to leave, ask for what is fairly mine AND ask to be compensated for Flutterwave’s negligence.” she says.
“It ends today. I am speaking up because when does it stop? When do I stop being the target of a powerful man trying to stick it to me for standing up for myself?” Wanjiku says.
Early this month, social media was abuzz with a #Horriblebosses hashtag after an online publisher TechCabal ran an expose detailing harassment at another Nigerian payment gateway startup, Bento Africa. The company CEO, Ebun Okubanjo was accused of threatening, abusing and constantly belittling his employees.
“I can count on one hand how many people took leave during my stay there. Ebun said breaks are for puss*** and fuc****, and whoever takes time out of the office for a whole week is a weak member of the team and not needed in the organisation,” a former employee, Bola, recounted his experience in the expose.