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Westgate attack survivor to return to revamped mall

11 July 2015, 10:00 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - Survivors of the Westgate attack in 2013 have vowed to return to the mall when it re-opens next weekend. 

The ill fated mall that was attacked in September 2013 where 67 people were killed and many others injured will re-open on the weekend of 18 July after nearly two years of repair.

Nakumatt Supermarkets, Westgate's biggest tenant will open an enlarged shop and managing director Atul Shah said the firm will start working on finishes and fittings of its store next week as it gears up for the reopening.

" At Nakumatt Holdings, we are preparing for the opening and looking forward to welcome our loyal customers to come enjoy a new in store layout, wide stock variety and fresh ambience," Shah said.

The question though is, after the trauma and suffering that was witnessed at the mall, will people return?

Peter Atshienga who survived the attack says that he will return to the mall despite the past memories.

" I will return to the mall. I know that there are bad memories from the past but I will return first because I had far more good memories than bad in the past and in honour of those that were not as lucky to survive as I was," he says.

He also believees that by him returning, the ghosts of the experience will be finally banished.

" I need it for my heart and mind to be at peace. I will do it," he added.

Terry Mungai, the proprieter of Ashely's Beauty Salon said she had booked space for her company "as a mark of patriotism and confidence" in Westgate Shopping Mall.

" We are confident that Westgate Mall will arise from the ruins to greater heights than it ever was and we have booked space five times bigger to enable us expand Ashleys Beauty Centre services,” Mungai said.

According to Atshienga, the mall was too good to go up in flames.

" I think that it might take some time to get back to where it was because of several factors but in the end it will," he believes.

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