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Nakumatt chief testifies at fire inquiry

Nakumatt Holdings chief executive Atul Shah took the witness box on Thursday at the public inquiry into the fire that razed supermarket’s Downtown branch four years ago.

He told the inquiry that employees had informed him of the numerous power fluctuations moments before the fire.

The fire at the Kenyatta avenue branch killed 20 people including five employees.

He told the inquiry that he was in Mombasa on official duties when received a call from the branch manager informing him of the fire.

Mr Shah recounted how he had made calls to the fire brigade and police when he was informed of the fire.

“I asked him to do what is necessary for emergency. I also made calls to the fire brigade and the police,” Mr Shah told Milimani chief magistrate Kiarie Waweru.

Mr Shah told the court that he went to the scene the following day and found the debris still smoldering.

During cross examination by the supermarket’s lawyer Benjamin Musyoka, the managing director said the firm had been charged for negligence at Makadara law courts and was acquitted.

The inquest adjourned to December 2.