Workers at a charity founded by U2 singer Bono have been subjected to a ‘toxic’ culture of bullying and abuse.
Bosses at the ONE charity have covered up the horrific allegations for years, but a major Mail on Sunday investigation has exposed a catalogue of humiliating incidents that has now sparked a multi-million-pound lawsuit.
In the worst case, a married woman says she felt pressured to have sex with an elderly Tanzanian MP.
When she refused, she was demoted to receptionist and had her salary slashed, she claims.
Taken together, the astonishing complaints depict an organisation driven by intimidation and contempt, with staff belittled and undermined, both in front of colleagues and in public.
The charity also failed to pay taxes – despite campaigning against tax evasion – and is alleged to have illegally employed foreign workers on tourist visas.
Bono last night said he was ‘deeply sorry’ for the situation, which he admitted had ‘gone badly wrong’.
He said he was left ‘reeling and furious’ about the scale of the allegations and vowed to meet victims to apologise in person.
Much of the mistreatment is said to have been at the hands of Sipho Moyo, the former £173,000-a-year Africa executive director of ONE. The complaints include claims that she:
- Intimidated one member of staff into massaging her feet;
- Woke another worker at 1am in South Africa and ordered her to sort out the air-conditioning in her hotel room – in Seattle;
- Invited colleagues to parties at her house, only to use them as waiting staff, making one woman stand outside for up to seven hours mixing drinks;
- Ordered a worker to find her a greyhound puppy, then drive to another city to collect it.
Moyo, the organisation’s most senior African official from 2010 until 2015, hit back last night.
She said she ‘vehemently denies’ the bullying claims and argues she is being smeared.
She claims that other directors treated her ‘like their personal maid’ and abused her in public.
ONE, whose board of high-profile figures includes David Cameron and Facebook chief Sheryl Sandberg, now admits there was ‘mistreatment and inaction’ by former managers.
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Source: Daily Mail