21 September 2017

Kenya: Cop Shot 15 Times Recounts Encounter With Westgate Terrorists

Photo: Jeff Angote/Daily Nation
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta watches as students from Loreto Girls, Kiambu, donate blood for use in emergency situations at Visa Oshwal Community Centre, Nairobi, during a ceremony to mark the fourth anniversary of the Westgate terror attack.
opinion

Nairobi — Like tens of other security officers deployed to the Westgate mall to rescue victims from blood thirsty terrorists, Geoffrey Emojong recounts how he came face-to-face with death.

It was a matter of life and death four years ago, and Emojong says it is with the grace of God that he has come this far.

Emojong was on a rescue mission but little did he know that he was about to be rescued too; he was shot 15 times and lost one of his eyes as he tried to save a little child but still, he survived.

"I remember that day like it's yesterday as I was going back to rescue more people. That's when I met with the terrorists who shot me, I am happy that God has stood with me because I would be no more," said Emojong on Thursday as the country marked the fourth anniversary of the attack.

He said serving people was a divine calling to him, and he is willing to go back to work after he fully recovers.

"I love my job and once my health gets back to normal I wouldn't hesitate to serve my country, I have accepted and I have to move on," said Emojong.

The Westgate attack is one of the darkest days the country faced which left 67 people dead and over one 175 others seriously injured.

Led by First Lady Margret Kenyatta, the British High Commissioner Nic Hailey and Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe, Kenya commemorated the fourth anniversary of the attack as a section of survivors narrated their experiences during the attack and life after.

Sammy Maina was an employee of the retail chain Nakumatt and too remembers the fateful day.

He was on duty as usual. At first, he thought it was robbers but following the random shooting he realised it wasn't a normal attack.

"I was with my colleagues in the store but we thought they were robbers who just wanted money, as I was going to check what's happening I met face-to-face with a terrorist and he shot me in the eye," recounted Maina.

Maina says the incident left him relying on the mercies of well wishers as he can't provide for his family like before.

"As you can see I have lost my one eye I can't do a lot of work. I only depend on well wishers to feed and educate my children, I have three children and they are all in school... but I thank God that I am alive," indicated Maina.

Boniface Mwaniki who is a taxi driver remembers how he was shot on his right leg as he tried to hide behind a car at the parking lot.

"I had dropped a customer at the mall... as I was at the parking lot, I started hearing gunshots everywhere I tried to hide but I stepped on a child who screamed and one of the terrorist shot me in the foot. I thank God I have fully recovered and am back to work," said Mwaniki.

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