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Court gives Kidero, Shebesh seven days to reconcile

Nairobi governor Evans Kidero and the region’s Women Representative Rachel Shebesh have seven days to reconcile or face prosecution, the High Court ruled on Friday.

At the same time the duo got a 13-day reprieve after the court issued conservatory order barring the police and DPP from arresting and charging them over a scuffle at City Hall on September 6, last year.

Mr Justice Isaac Lenaola handed the temporary relief for the governor and Ms Shebesh with a clear warning that he may in the future not stop the public prosecutor from carrying out his work “as he had made a decision based on the evidence brought before him.”

The case returns to court on January 13 for further orders and a report on the progression of negotiations.

Justice Lenaola told the petitioner to prepare to convince the court why it would be unconstitutional to prosecute the leaders.

He had initially dismissed the grounds presented in the petition as “premature speculative generalities” but said his mind was swayed by the intimation that the “suspects had been involved in discussing a possibility of settlement out of court.”

He said it was obligatory that alternative arbitration mechanisms be promoted at all times.

“Although no evidence of the fact was given, I give the petitioner the benefit of doubt,” Justice Lenaola said, adding that his ruling also considered the interest of the public.

The judge said the DPP was not obligated in law to get consent from any quarter including the court on whom to prosecute.

“The court can only intervene when the DPP has acted in a frivolous manner… or to protect public interest,” the judge explained.

The incident happened when Ms Shebesh, accompanied by aggrieved Nairobi City County workers who are demanding better pay, went to Dr Kidero’s office.

The governor had just returned from a meeting with visiting Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan when he came face to face with Ms Shebesh, some members of the County Assembly and the workers.