TRADERS at the Westgate Mall have asked the government to explain how their businesses were looted during the terror attack. Deacons Kenya CEO Muchiri Wahome said property worth million of shillings was stolen. "As stakeholders we have many unanswered questions. Cash safes were emptied and we don't know how," he said.
"We thought it was a gunfight in there that had nothing to do with cash and goods. But we are shocked to see that our shops were emptied," Wahome said. He described the interior of the mall as "horrific and frightening" with "unimaginable destruction". "It will take long for traders to be back on their feet," Wahome said.
He said there were attempts to raid their businesses even when it was unlikely that the terrorists were hiding in them. Deacons had four stalls at Westgate. The traders said they are facing difficulties trying to access government officials. "We ask the government to give us access to authorities. We must be told how things are going because we are the most effected," he said told the media outside the mall yesterday.
East Africa Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Secretary Phyllis Kandie said a multiagency committee will be formed to draft a quick recovery plan for businesses at the mall. She however declined to comment on the alleged looting. "The committee will address that but the government will support you in every step of the way," Kandie told the traders yesterday.
She said her ministry will engage other agencies to ensure businesses will be operating soon. Kandie said the attack was "despicable and perpetrated by cowards". She said the government will do everything possible to address the traders' concerns.