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Westgate restoration public hearings kick off

21 January 2014, 11:52 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - The Wastgate Rapid Restoration Committee held its first public hearing forum on Monday at Nairobi’s Charter Hall where victims of the attack were given a chance to express views.

Beatrice Kemunto, a business lady who owned Sona Bora Design at the mall, trading in leather products narrated how her borrowed KES 259,000 investment went up in flames during the attack.

“I had not even finished repaying the loan I invested in the leather business when the attack occurred. I will require some KES 1.5 million to go back to the business,” lamented Kemunto.

She expressed her regrets after learning that she would not be compensated since her business was not covered under acts of terrorism, although she had insured against frequently occurring risks such as theft.

Madeleine Ambrosino, the Director of African Lily Enterprise who lost KES 700,000 in the attack called on the government to seek advice terror-bound nations on how to deal with any emerging attack in an effort to enhance security.

The Parklands Highridge County Ward Representative, Jaffer Kassam, said he lost about 38 acquaintances in theattack. He asked the government to accord any necessary assistance to the affected in restoring their businesses at the mall.

Before the attack, Westgate mall was Kenya’s leading trading mall had businesses that produced over KES 100 billion annually into the nation’s economy.

Terrorists launched the attack at the mall on September 21, 2013 leaving least 72 people dead and over 200 injured.

The Westgate Rapid Restoration had launched public hearing to ascertain the level of loss incurred in the aftermath of the attack,  and to gather information from the public on how to restore business in an around the mall with due effect.

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