Kidero and Shebesh hold marathon talks

There were strong indications Sunday evening that Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and Women’s Representative Rachel Shebesh were holding talks to avoid being charged in court if they fail to reconcile.

Nairobi County Assembly whip Hashim Kamau (TNA) said Dr Kidero and Ms Shebesh, or at least their lawyers, were to meet and hammer out a deal to avoid being hauled to court Monday.

“There is a meeting today (Sunday) and the two are expected to reach an agreement as directed by the courts,” he said.

CITY HALL SLAP

Mr Kamau did not disclose the location of the meeting.

Ms Shebesh’s lawyer, Mr Cecil Miller, also appeared to suggest as much. “I may have something to report later in the day (Sunday),” he said but gave no details.

The talks were to be a departure from the hardline stance the MP had taken earlier.

The lawmaker has been playing hard ball, insisting she would pursue the matter to its judicial conclusion.
This would be the second official meeting after Dr Kidero’s lawyer, Prof Tom Ojienda, on Friday said he had met Mr Miller to lay the ground for a meeting.

OUT-OF-COURT SETTLEMENT

On January 3, Justice Isaac Lenaola gave the two leaders until last Friday to reach an out-of-court settlement in order to avoid being charged over an altercation that occurred in Dr Kidero’s office in September last year when Ms Shebesh led a group of striking workers there.

The women representative claims the governor slapped her and Dr Kidero says she hit him “near the groin.”

Prof Ojienda was upbeat about a possible deal, saying his client wanted to serve city residents without any distractions.

“We are keen to reconcile and bring this matter to a close,” Prof Ojienda said.

On Thursday last week, 38 TNA ward representatives met Ms Shebesh at the Boulevard hotel in Nairobi and begged her to give dialogue a chance.

“Nairobi needs both of them. The city is also bigger than any one of them,” Mr Kamau said.

According to the whip, city residents would be the losers if the cases were to occasion a by-election as Law Society of Kenya chairman Eric Mutua has warned.

Mr Kamau warned that there would be a by-election if the matter was not resolved.

“There is no legal requirement that they vacate office because of the charges. It would thus be premature to bring this up,” Mr Mutua said while commenting on the possible outcome of the cases.

This article was published by the SUNDAY NATION on January 12, 2014