I am not the ‘White Widow’ says Westgate victim

September 25, 2013 11:18 am


Heena Arani speaking on the photo taken during the Westgate aatck/CFM
Heena Arani speaking on the photo taken during the Westgate aatck/CFM
NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 25 – “My act of kindness has turned to a living nightmare,” these are the sentiments of a distraught Heena Arani who was a victim of the Saturday Westgate siege.

Arani has been a victim of not only the Westgate terrorists but also a reckless group of “terrorists” on social media.

The accusations were triggered by a photo taken by media who were outside the building after she was brought to safety from the besieged mall.

Her photo has been making the rounds on social media with people saying that she is Samantha Leithwaite “The White Widow” who was suspected to be among the 10 – 15 terrorists that took over the mall.

In an interview with NTV on Tuesday, Arani narrates her ordeal while at the mall with great emotion saying, “I was shopping at Nakumatt with my children when the loud bangs began and we took cover with the help of the staff.”

“As we were hiding, we were asked to be really quiet as the area we were was near exit route and if the terrorist wanted to escape then they would likely use that one.”

“The staff members then asked us to move to the opposite side of the store something that made no sense to us but after reassurance we started moving one by one.”

“We went to the loading zone where one by one we were released but as I was leaving, I noticed a woman all alone bleeding in a corner.”

“I took the woman’s hand and ran out with her where the medics took her into their care and I ran all the way to Sarit Centre where I found my children and we went home,” said Arani.

Arani maintains that she is not “The White Widow” and asks people to stop speculating as she too needs time to heal from the shock.

On Monday the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo, in a statement, warned Kenyans against peddling rumours especially on social media.

He further warned that there would be dire consequences for those found.


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