On March 11, 2022 Eric Theuri was elected through a popular vote to become the 50th Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President beating 4 other contestants, succeeding Nelson Havi.
As LSK president, he remains in the public limelight, keeping the State in check, sometimes rubbing President William Ruto the wrong way.
Many Kenyans know him for his legal expertise, but they do not know how as a young man Theuri narrowly escaped jaws of death.
LSK Chairperson Eric Theuri.
Theuri recounted that as a young lawyer freshly admitted to the bar, he flew to Rwanda in 2007 where while visiting Genocide Memorial Museum, he witnessed one of the worst human atrocities to happen on the continent.
The budding lawyer did not image the horrors he witnessed in Rwanda happening to him and that in a few days he would be begging for his life from machete wielding goon.
Kenya had conducted a peaceful transition of power in 2002 and Theuri was hoping Raila Odinga would win in 2007 and the country would witness another peaceful transition.
Former President Mwai Kibaki was declared winner in the highly contested elections, sparking ethnic clashes across the country.
Eric Theuri who grew up in Kakamega County but originally from Nyeri County found himself being targeted in the ensuing ethnic clashes.
He was hunted and hounded out of his home and it is a miracle he survived the ordeal.
While escaping to Kisumu, at an illegally erected roadblock, he was accosted by an assailant carrying long, sharp and shiny machete ready to draw blood.
What saved Theuri was that the machete wielding guy knew him and instead of killing him, ordered him to turn and go back to Kakamega.
“The menacing guy approached our escape car ready to attack, I was shivering knowing I was going to die that day.”
“Luckily, the guy recognized me as an old friend and warned me to turn back as I will not get lucky in the next roadblock,” Theuri narrated his narrow escape on his website.
Back at home, Theuri’s family spent their days at Kakamega Police Station but at night even the police station was unsafe and they had to be shelter by sympathetic neighbours.
“We suddenly became refugees in a place we had known as home.
“We joined other hundreds of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) community at the Kakamega police station, we relied on police protection to stay alive,” recalled Theuri in a past publication.
In the publication, Theuri recalled when at the height of PEV, a close friend gave him the Judas kiss.
“My friend called me out using my ethnic name from a balcony when I was walking across the street,
“I was in a crowd and he wanted me to answer so that I could be identified but luckily I kept mum and walked quickly disappearing into a crowd,” he painfully recalled.
While Theuri and his family later escaped to Nairobi, all their property was razed to the ground.
Instead of pain, he remembers fondly his time growing up in Kakamega and believes that politicians are to blame for polarizing the country on ethnic lines.
“We had good times with my friends growing up, at times our truancy would go overboard.
After burying the bananas, a few of us would sneak back to exhume them and bury them at a different sight. I always wonder how come we were never caught,” fondly remembered his mischievous days as a small boy.
The boy who grew to become one of the top legal minds in the country still keeps in touch with friends, teachers and acquaintances he met while growing up.
LSK President Eric Theuri