, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 25 – Nairobi’s shopping malls were open for business on Wednesday as the country heeded the president’s call to keep on marching and not allow the terrorists who struck Westgate mall succeed in spreading fear.
The Sarit Center Finance and Operations Manager Atul Shah said despite its proximity to the Westgate mall, all the shop owners had opened their businesses and that move encouraged customers to go shopping.
“We opened on Monday but probably 30 to 40 percent of the shops did not open because of the fear. But since this (Wednesday) morning all of them have opened. In terms of customer flow the first two days was pretty low, but today we are seeing back to normalcy,” Shah said in an interview at his office at the Sarit Center.
Commending the efforts by the security apparatus so far to settle the Westgate incident, Shah however called on the government to enhance security in the country and increase investor’s confidence going forward.
“We have told our security guards to be extra vigilant and we can only hope that things get back to normal. There is only a certain amount one can do because like at Westgate, despite their security efforts, it still happened,” Shah lamented.
“People cannot do without malls and what we would like to urge the government to ensure security forces go round these centers often,” he said.
Sheria Saidi, Manager at Text Book Center based Sarit Centre said things are getting better by the day especially after the government assured national security.
“Today(Wednesday) was even much, much better and we even started making good sales, “Saidi said, “ Its important that Kenyans pick up again and we should not stop what we have been doing or stop people coming to the malls, because at the end of the day it will give the perpetrators of this heinous act more say.”
Meanwhile according to Nakumatt Supermarkets spokesperson Alfred Ng’ang’a all branches which closed after the incident were back to business, apart from Nakumatt Ukay and Nakumatt Westgate.
“Some of our outlets in malls include Nakumatt Thika Road, Ridgeways, at The Junction, Village Market and others. And if they are open, that means the malls are open,” Ng’ang’a said.