The Physical Assault on Nairobi Women's Representative Hon. Rachael Shebesh by Dr Evans Kidero, Governor Nairobi County

Nairobi 11th September 2013
The network of Men to Men members comprising of Men for Gender Equality Now (MEGEN), The Masculinity Institute (MAIN) and other men of goodwill advocating for violence free life for women, girls boys and men, would like to respond to Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero for physically assaulting Nairobi Women’s Representative Hon. Rachael Shebesh on Friday 6th September 2013 at City Hall-Nairobi. We come out to protest against Dr Kidero’s actions and condemn any and all forms of violence in the strongest way possible. The act of slapping Hon. Shebesh sets a bad precedent for public conduct at the highest level of leadership in Nairobi County. We wish to remind Dr Kidero that he holds a public office on behalf of the people of Nairobi. He has a legal and public duty to treat ALL Kenyans with decorum befitting the status of the office of the Governor of Nairobi and as a result ensure that his officers, friends and staff do the same.
Dr Kidero’s assault on Hon Shebesh was a recipe for more violence since it led to sporadic attacks on Hon Shebesh and other women in her entourage by a marauding gang that was present at the Governor’s office.
Besides being an elected leader in Nairobi, Hon Shebesh has every right as a Kenyan to access the office of the Governor on matters of interest to the people of Nairobi. The notion that the Governor’s office is private cannot be entertained because it remains a public office accessible to any member of the public.
We wish to remind Dr Kidero that as a result of his actions, perpetrators of violence have found justification to continue violations against women in Kenya. As men who recognize the indivisibility of human rights and committed to end all forms of violence against women and girls men and boys we are disappointed by the Governor’s actions.
We demand:
1. We echo COTU’s demand through Assistant Secretary- General Mr George Muchai for the Governor Kidero to leave office.
2. We further demand that the Director of the Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the police begin speedy investigations into the assault charges that were filed by Hon Shebesh on 6th September2013. Dr. Kidero was a public official acting in his official capacity on public property. The DPP must ensure prosecution on this matter occurs in a timely manner and is done without fear or favour.
3. Dr Kidero must publicly apologize to the people of Nairobi County and her women for the acts of aggression on Hon Rachel Shebesh, which both symbolized and endorsed violence against women as the norm in public and private.
4. Dr. Kidero must handover for prosecution the group of marauding youth who violated the Hon Shebesh and other women at City Hall.
5. The Nairobi county executive must open up their offices for public scrutiny from the National Gender and Equality Commission, working with other like-minded organisations to ensure that enabling frameworks on zero tolerance of all forms of violence and accompanying accountability mechanisms are instituted and enforced. Further the Nairobi county executive must be obliged to attend sensitization training of sexual and gender based violence.
In conclusion
We call all on men in positions of authority and duty bearers to take a visible stand against violence against women and not stand aside when any act of violence is taking place.
Further, we reiterate that there is no justification for violence no matter the situation. When elected leaders take a leadership role in ending violence, Kenyans are guaranteed of their basic human rights without fear or favor.
We take this opportunity to remind all elected leaders of their oath to protect and defend the rights of the citizens of Kenya. The constitution in the Bill of Rights guarantees every citizen equality before the law and the right to violence free life.
Lastly, we urge every citizen to take responsibility to protect women, girls, boys and girls of Kenya. We join hands with other like-minded men, women and organizations who have condemned the acts of violence against Hon Rachel Shebesh and all the other women. Take a stand against violence targeted at women!
Press Contact:
Kennedy Otina
FEMNET’s Men to Men Regional Program
Tel: +254 20 2712971/2
Philip Otieno
Men for Gender Equality Now (MEGEN)
Gerald Awat
Masculinity Institute (MAIN)

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