The diversity of the lifestyle and times of Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat became apparent as people from all walks of life paid tribute to his mediation efforts.
Christians, Muslims, top diplomats, clergy, politicians and peace crusaders met to pay their respects to the former Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary credited with brokering peace in several troubled countries in Africa.
Religious diversity was evident as Kiplagat was born a Muslim before he embraced Christianity as a teenager attending Alliance High School.
The diversity also extended to nationalities, with a heavy presence of the Malagasy community (from Madagascar) who came to condole with one of their own, Honorine Kiplagat, his widow.
Kiplagat’s rich legacy of peace-building was laid bare through the eulogy read by his daughter, Nirina Kiplagat, during a funeral service held at St Marks Anglican Church in Westlands, Nairobi. It was a reminder of his towering figure as he often took to the pulpit to preach the gospel.
Anglican Church Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit described the service as a blessing while quoting the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:9: “… blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Retired fiery PCEA preacher Timothy Njoya caused laughter as he praised Kiplagat’s mediation prowess.
“I am generally very militant and all the moderators of the General Assembly (of PCEA) were unable to moderate me. But every time I met with Kiplagat, he would sober me up, first with a word from the Bible,” he said.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed termed Kiplagat a consummate negotiator, saying it was such attributes that brought victory in his peace missions.
Retired Anglican Church Archbishop Eliud Wabukala spoke of Kiplagat’s humility, saying even as he held senior Government positions, he humbled himself to serve others.
Kiplagat will be buried at his Mosoriot home in Nandi County.