USAHIDI: The technology solution to African Elections


One of the best things to come out of Africa is the Ushahidi software that was developed by Kenyan bloggers in the aftermath of violence after election irregularities in that country. Instead of just complaining or being bystanders Kenyans took it upon themselves to use technology to hold perpetrators of violence accountable.
This software is going to be used in the upcoming elections in Zimbabwe to report violence in the land. Zimbabwean elections have a long brutal history of bloodshed and intimidation but thanks to technology the executors will be answerable for their actions. Ushahidi which means witness in Kiswahili uses the mobile phone platforms which are more prevalent in southern Africa than laptops and easier to use and report.

According to the Ushahidi site, an organization called Zimbabwe Political Crisis Map (ZPCM) was created using Ushahidian open source software by Musavengana Mhuri to show the citizens of Zimbabwe and the International Community how violence is still embedded in Zimbabwe’s political system and how Zimbabwe’s two-year-old coalition government has failed to end Human Rights Abuses and Political Violence.

The formation of the coalition raised hopes for an end to a decade of human rights abuses but two years later the hopes have faded away and have been replaced by fear, intimidation and instability. Violence against members of the public amid talks of a looming election is on the increase, arrests on Civil Rights Activists and members of the opposition are also in the increase everyday and will likely increase when an election date is set.

Courtesy of