NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 5 – Muimi Kiteme, a driver, on Wednesday animatedly told Chief Magistrate Daniel Ochenja how he escaped attack by one of the terrorists who stormed the Westgate mall on September 21, 2013 by a whisker.
“He held in his hands what looked like a long lens camera and when he realised I’d exited my vehicle he fired it at me and I heard whatever it was whizz past my ear and take out the back light,” he testified.
He told the court how he had been supplying vegetables to various food vendors at the mall and had been about to exit in his Toyota Hiace when a grey Mitsubishi cut him off.
“They didn’t go far after passing me and Willy, my tout, at the loading bay. They turned almost immediately near the pedestrian entrance to the mall and four or five people got out,” he narrated.
He referred to them as ‘people’ because he was unable to ascertain their genders as they had covered themselves up, “the one who fired at me had a white cloth over the black turban on his head.”
He went on to tell the court how two attackers proceeded into the mall while two others remained behind to fire at those within the vehicles in their vicinity.
“I immediately ducked hitting my forehead on the steering wheel as the glass rained all around me. Willy must have gotten out at some point in that time,” he deduced.
He then described how one of the pair caught sight of him exiting his vehicle and proceeded to fire at him, “He was picking up the white cloth that had fallen off his head as they fired when he saw me.”
Apart from a bump on the head, Kiteme survived by crawling underneath his delivery van but its reputation did not go unscathed.
“The Star reported that it was the vehicle the terrorists were transported in but apart from Willy the only other thing I had behind there were sukuma (kale) and cabbages,” Kiteme testified.
The vehicle of interest on Wednesday however was the grey Mitsubishi.