1994 some students from Kenyatta University wrote to the president
of the Republic of Kenya, expressing dissatisfaction at the way
the country was run. Others, including myself, challenged their
strongly worded letter. We felt they should have shown more respect
when addressing the Head of State.
dispute, which lasted four months, there were many threats and
'Kamukunjis' (public rallies). I was attacked by five of my enemies,
carrying whips and daggers. Only the whips were used. To retaliate,
I planned to hire a thug from the streets of Nairobi to deal with
local differences spread to the political parties. This blew
them out of all proportion because they organised press conferences,
provided legal and monetary assistance, and even tried to lure
student support by promising scholarships in the case of expulsion.
months later Kenya hosted an international MRA consultation.
This brought together men and women of strong convictions from
across the world. With much experience in conflict resolution,
they precipitated the reconciliation between the warring student
On the first
night two Zimbabwean delegates talked to us about youth in Africa
and economic independence. They stressed the importance of working
closely with governments and challenged us to reflect on the issue
In the morning
a young Nigerian, Amina Dikedi, proposed no one concerned in the
fight have breakfast until an agreement was reached. Everyone
left but my two friends and I and those of the other faction.
Amina and a few others also remained. It was suggested we all
be silent awhile. We were then asked to focus on ourselves as
complete entities. Did we feel all we had done was right? If
not, were we ready to apologise?
agreed to take responsibility for its actions. Apologies and
tears followed. We then joined the rest of the delegates. Former
enemies embraced one another with joy. Many found it hard to
believe that I embraced the man who, two nights before, I had
refused for a room-mate! Now we work together to create brotherhood
between Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and
Moses Obiero, Kenya