Businesses gradually re-open near Westgate

September 27, 2013
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Salome Maina who works at Peponi Plaza returned to her office on Friday/CFM
Salome Maina who works at Peponi Plaza returned to her office on Friday/CFM
NAIROBI Kenya, Sept 27 – Life is slowly going back to normal in the area neighbouring the Westgate mall after Saturday’s terrorist attack.

The government on Friday assured residents living within the surrounding area that it was safe and that activities should run as usual. Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku said that business can continue operating in adjacent buildings around the mall.

“It is important to point out that normalcy is returning and some sections of Peponi Road have been opened,” he said.

Salome Maina who works at Peponi Plaza returned to her office on Friday.

Maina told Capital FM News that her 14 members of staff have not been working since the incident occurred.

“It is sad that people lost lives during the tragic incident,” she regretted. “I am affected as a Kenyan, but I have remained with this feeling… that I need to be ready at any time.”

She added that though she was not scared of working in the same environment, she was, “worried but as a Christian I know death can come at any time whether in my house or when walking along this road.”

Police have already opened routes heading past the mall like Peponi and Ring road. Members of the public have also continued getting their cars from the nearby Nakumatt Ukay parking lot and at the besieged mall.

Mumtaz Jamal who had left her car at the basement found her vehicle in good shape. Jamal described the moment at the mall as traumatizing after witnessing the attack.

“My lover was shot dead during the incident which has left me traumatized.”

She says police stayed for more than an hour before responding to the attack.

“There was no one to help us when we left. It was just people from the shops running all over stacking on each other, looking for a place to hide,” she remembered.

“I can still hear the gunshots. This is the worst thing that has ever happened in my life.”

Though worried and unsure of what may happen in the future, she was lucky to leave unhurt. The attack left 67 people dead and more than 200 injured.

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