Julius Kipngetich, the newly appointed Chief Operations Officer at Equity Bank and former KWS CEO, is clearly a star manager, judging by the posts he has held and the changes he has brought about in organizations. We stumbled upon an interview Starehe Boys published in March 2007 on Kipngetich’s worst and best decision. His best decision was joining Starehe Boys after high School at a time when his contemporaries preferred Iten High school. Surprisingly, he regretted how he left as the head of University of Nairobi’s Student Welfare Association.
“What I regret most are the student riots of February 2000, caused mainly by my decision to resign as head of the students’ welfare, University of Nairobi.
I had served the students for some time and had developed a good rapport with them. It was a job I liked doing. I was at the helm of the welfare department and had inspired the students and brought about many positive changes on campus.
During this time, the students had learnt that throwing stones was not the best way to air their grievances. Dialogue was the way out. But I did not know that my rapport with students was not being taken well by some top managers of the university.
They thought I was undermining them. I was also unhappy with the way the university was being run, especially on matters concerning students. I would come up with good ideas but they would be shot down.
When I could not take it any more, I threw in the towel and tendered my resignation. The news reached the students. They decided to vent their anger on motorists and the police. The street riots got so ugly that I felt I should not have quit.
The students even went to the then head of public service, Dr Richard Leakey, to demand that I take back my job. They pleaded with me but I had made my decision.
I don’t regret serving the students. I was happy doing so. But it is a pity that my decision to quit led to ugly incidents that hurt many people.