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Shebesh vs Kidero: Out-of-court will do just fine

10 September 2013, 14:07 Mubweka Orodi

The now famous 'Kidero' slap has sparked widespread debate on the action that should be taken against the accused and whether the accuser was on the right after all.

As late as Monday night, the BBC radio world service aired a lively debate to discuss the circumstances surrounding the incident and if at all the slap was deserved or outrageous.

Nairobi County Women Representative Rachel Shebesh stormed into the office of the governor at City Hall demanding to address the governor with regard to the salary menace facing the council workers. She was all over Dr. Evans Kidero’s office trying to get an audience with the governor at a time when the governor’s office is facing a huge challenge regarding the striking workers. This obviously did not sit well with Dr. Kidero.

On the heat of the moment, the agitated governor could no longer handle the constant nagging of a lady who had no clue what was facing the council at the time.

He had to do something and do it fast. At that very instant, with fury having boiled over, the premier Nairobi governor took a swing at Shebesh’s cheek striking it had with the palm of his hand. That was when the Nairobi Women Representative went ballistic with the now famous 'Ayayayaya … Kidero you’ve slapped me? You’ve slapped me Kidero!'

Looking at the whole melee and how it all unfolded, one cannot be forgiven for thinking that both parties had their cards all wrong. To start off, the Nairobi governor should not have slapped her in the first place. Moreover, Dr. Kidero went ahead and denied the act in public yet it was caught live on camera. It was completely inappropriate for him to hit a woman and to make it worse, in the view of cameras and media fraternity. As a gentleman, he should have calmed the situation down by allowing her into his office for a closed door meeting to discuss amicably what was rocking the council.

Furthermore, after slapping Hon. Shebesh, Kidero ought not to have publicly denied it knowing very well that upon the saga evolving, cameras were spot on and all eyes were fixed on him. He should have kept his peace and walked straight to the police station to report the incident as was required then later on after a day or so, seek to clear the air by clearly stating it was a ‘grave mistake that could not have happened if Shebesh approached him cautiously’.

Moving on to the Shebesh, she has barely any idea what it entails to run a county government. All she has done is sit in parliament and fight for the less privileged which is very good and outstanding but running a government that has been transformed from a very corrupt and weak City Council is no walk in the park. Shebesh should have sought to understand both parties in a humble manner rather than go chanting at Dr. Kidero in his office thus agitating the governor and setting the mood for council workers to even cause more havoc.

As if not enough, Shebesh went to Dr. Kidero’s office ‘demanding’ an audience which is not a normal act. Only the president and his deputy can do such, not even a Cabinet Secretary. Rachael needs to be warned against doing things in a rogue manner. The days when order was for the jungle are gone. It is proper to support the victims, yes, but it is appropriate to support them in an orderly manner. Budging into one’s office seeking redress is no appropriate way to do things and she knows that very well.

Therefore, with both parties having overstepped each others’ boundaries, it would be appropriate for the two to have an out-of-court agreement. This will save on a lot of things such as legal costs and public embarrassment. Details will be revealed and dirty linen will be aired in public which will leave both parties heavily humiliated and in utter shame. In order to save face, settle the matter in an amicable manner and have both parties redeem their friendship it is only proper to have an out-of-court agreement where both parties address their concerns and forgiveness is sought.

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