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Westgate team opts for partial reopening

The ruined terrorists-struck Westgate Mall will be rebuilt partially before it is opened, a committee has said.

The 16-member committee chaired by Governor Evans Kidero said tests had shown that the building was strong enough to enable the reconstruction.

Apart from the Nakumatt upper parking bay which was brought down during the September 21, 2013 attack, other sections only sustained bullet holes, said the committee secretary David Muigua.

He said the team was working on the final report to be presented to Tourism Secretary Phyllis Kandie before the end of this month.

Mr Muigua did not however reveal when the building would be reopened only saying that the specific time lines would be contained in the report.

“I cannot tell the exact date. But for those who suffered loses, we have given recommendations that will serve as relief to them, especially those whom the insurance firms refused to compensate due to lack of terror cover,” he said.

More than 80 businesses were hosted by the mall which had at least Sh100 billion in annual turnover and employed more than 2,000 people. 

The committee held public hearings at Charter Hall where affected business owners, the public and the building owner gave their comments. 

More than 67 people died and 200 others injured in the four-day siege by al-Shabaab terrorists.