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'M-pesa transaction' saved me from Westgate death

18 September 2014, 15:16 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - A failed M-pesa transaction saved Jinnat Muhammad from likely death in the Westgate Mall attack.

Jinnat was headed to the Westgate Mall to meet some work colleagues for a meal but first, he had to pass by an M-pesa agent to send some money on the ill fated Saturday.

" I was headed to Westgate but I passed by Nakumatt Ukay which is just nearby to deposit and send some money, he says of his encounter.

He says that when he finished, he walked out of the shop, headed towards the Westgate Mall when he realized that the money deposited on his phone had not arrived.

Read also: Westgate attack: A tale of nerve-wracking experiences

" I thus walked back into the shop to confirm what the delay was about and after I finished and walked out again, I heard gunshots at the Westgate entrance and saw gunmen running in through the front door.

He quickly rushed back into Ukay and hid in the same M-pesa shop that he had transacted from, then later on run to safety.

He admits that had he not returned to check on the transaction, he would likely have been caught at the entrance.

" Its a two minute walk from Ukay to the Westgate entrance. I would likely have been caught there if I had not turned back because it took a few moments after I had returned for the gunmen to strike, he added.

Muhammad is happy to be alive but on the one year anniversary of attacks, he says that he hopes for a more secure Kenya.

Read also: Saved from Westgate death by oil leak

" I feel for the families of the deceased and the injured and I hope that the government will do as much as it possibly can to ensure security remains tight in the country, he said.

Since the incident, Muhammad says he is careful about walking into malls.

" It is a natural reaction I think. Nowadays I do not go if I do not have to. That has changed my thinking but I am not afraid. God has his own will and it will be done, he says.

67 people died in the attacks, with the Al Shabaab terror group taking claim for its execution.

The commemoration of the attack will be held Sunday, a ceremony Jinnat Muhammad will not miss.

" I want to pay respects to those innocent people who died on that day. It will offer some sort of closure for me ".

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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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