LOVE FOR COUNTRY

Elderly 'peace envoy' Ambuti rides, walks across Kenya to preach unity

Says he decided to become a peace ambassador after seeing people fighting each other over politics

In Summary

• Nathan Ambuti hails from Butere in Kakamega and is in Murang'a county.

• Ambuti has been to the Rift Valley, Eastern, Nairobi and Central region and plans to walk around the country before the elections.

Self-made peace ambassador Nathan Ambuti in Murang'a town on Monday.
Self-made peace ambassador Nathan Ambuti in Murang'a town on Monday.
Image: Alice Waithera

Nathan Ambuti, 76, is on countrywide outreach on a bicycle to preach peace ahead of the 2022 elections.

Self-proclaimed peace ambassador Ambuti, who hails from Butere in Kakamega county, targets to visit all parts of the country to urge Kenyans to maintain peace.

Ambuti, who was in Murang’a town on Monday, said he decided to become a peace ambassador after seeing people fighting each other over politics.

“This country has experienced conflicts and chaos since the colonial era upto now and lack of peace makes it impossible for Kenyans to be productive and slows the economy," he said.

He said Mau Mau fighters gave their lives to fight for independence to give Kenyans the chance to live in freedom.

Instead, Ambuti said, Kenyans have continuously rose against each other when they should be living in harmony and cherishing the freedom they have.

The elderly man said he decided to undertake the journey despite financial constraints, which have forced him to walk and cycle across the country.

He uses a bicycle decorated with flags from various African countries.

When he gets to a town, he sometimes spends a few days interacting with locals and selling his vision for a peaceful country.

Ambuti left his village in Western two months ago and has been to the Rift Valley, Eastern, Nairobi and now Central region.

“I have been to most estates in Nairobi and Kiambu. I decided that even if I have nothing, I would rather walk so that people understand the seriousness of what I am preaching,” he said.

“We should be focusing on making our lives better and building our country but we ignite chaos that causes destruction of our property. These things make me angry because they only serve to take the country backward,” he said.

Ambuti said he has plans to make his vision global and that he hopes to start with the neighbouring countries.

“I am saying, if there is no peace globally, Kenya can also not thrive and would have trouble growing its economy,” he said.

He said the only assistance he has received was from former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, who noticed him when he cycled 223km from Kakamega to attend former President Daniel Moi’s burial in Kabarak.

Ambuti was, however, turned away by security officers when he got to the venue but was later allowed to access the former President’s home to mourn him.

The peace envoy said he journeyed to the burial as Moi was an icon of peace across the continent.

His plight caught Sonko's attention who took to his social media to express his empathy for the peace ambassador, saying it was sad that he would sleep on the streets since he did not have money for hotels.

After Sonko got his contact, he invited him to Nairobi and bought him a maize milling plant and a motorbike.

He said his family understands his long absence caused by his constant travels and that he supports them as much as he can.

Ambuti said he is troubled by the clashes in Laikipia and other parts of the country inhabited by pastoralist communities.

His message to Kenyans is not to undermine the efforts made by Mau Mau veterans to liberate the country by fighting amongst themselves but strive to live in harmony.

Edited by EKibii