By ABIGAEL SUM and NGARI GICHUKI
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has apologised for slapping Nairobi Women representative Rachel Shebesh, but not without saying why.
In a statement to newsrooms, Kidero said he acted out of anger after Shebesh assaulted him around his lower abdomen. “I found the act embarrassing, disgusting and highly disrespectful. Nonetheless, I wish to regard what happened to me that day as a despicable act of aggression on my personal integrity and that of the office of the Governor,” read part of the statement. The matter is under investigation.
But even as this went on, police are investigating claims by a watchman that Shebesh slapped him.
Kazungu Chengo of Watchdog Security Company claims that on July 17, 2013 at about 1.30am, the MP arrived at her residence on Orchid Apartments, Riverside Drive 84, after which he opened the gate for her, albeit slowly, as he had been on phone.
Speaking at his Kangemi home Saturday, Chengo, whose Occurrence Book number at the Kileleshwa Police Station is 7/17/07/2013, claims Shebesh quarreled him asking him whether he had been hired by Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi a.k.a Sonko to spy on her.
“I tried to explain that I was speaking to my supervisor, but she became hysterical and slapped me. Efforts to get justice from Kileleshwa Police Station have been futile, as the OCS has been taking me round in circles. I want justice,” he said. OCPD Kilimani Peter Katam admits there was a complaint of assault involving Shebesh, and they are investigating.
Kidero, on the other hand, has termed the incident that took place at City Hall on Friday unfortunate and regrettable and assured residents of Nairobi that the matter that is now in the hands of the investigative authorities will be pursued within the due process to its logical conclusion.
Shebesh had confronted Kidero over the ongoing County employees’ strike over unpaid salaries.
Outside his office when Kidero emerged, a quarrel ensued between the two and, from the video footage making rounds in social media, he is seen slapping Shebesh.
I slapped no one
Later at a Press conference the Governor said: “As far as I can recollect I was in my office and do not remember slapping anybody”.
He said in the statement they had information that the storming of City Hall on Friday was a premeditated act orchestrated by negative forces opposed to the ongoing reforms to streamline governance of the City.
At the same time, members of the Nairobi City County Assembly affiliate to Jubilee have strongly condemned the Friday’s incident. The leaders said the Governor acted in a barbaric manner and should step down.
County Representative of Ngara ward Chege Maura said Kidero’s actions proved that he cannot work under pressure. “The embarrassing scuffle had nothing to do with Jubilee or CORD party divide but everything to do with the unreasonable, uncouth, uncivilised and the analogue nature of the disreputable Kidero,” said Rachel Kamweru, Nominated County Representative.
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Members of CORD of Nairobi county assembly criticised Shebesh, claiming she stormed Kidero’s office prompting him to react in the manner he did in self-defence. “The county MP for Nairobi, Hon Rachel Shebesh stormed the office of the governor of Nairobi Dr Evans Kidero with goons, broke through the security cordon and made straight for the governor,” said Jaffar Kassam, the county rep of Parklands-Highridge area and chairman of the Justice and Legal Affairs of the County Assembly.
The members also pointed out that the Constitution provides clear guidelines on relationship between the county and the national government and the extent of separation of these roles, “which Shebesh clearly ignored”. They also argued that the actions of Shebesh were politically motivated.
FIDA Kenya also condemned the act, and called upon the Inspector General of Police to immediately commence investigations. “No one has a right to take the law into their hands,” said in part a statement from FIDA Chairperson Ruth Aura.