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Taxpayers to bail out Westgate businesses, report

The  committee on rehabilitation of Westgate wants tax payers to help pay for the restoration of businesses that had no insurance and which were destroyed during the terrorist attack at the shopping mall.

It wants the Treasury cabinet secretary to provide the funds fom the Contingency Fund. The committee cites article 10 and article 208 of the constitution.

Inn their report released on Monday, the committee also called for improvement of the police training curriculum, particularly on response to emergencies in public facilities and crowded places.

Armed militiamen affiliated to Al-Shabaab attacked the Westgate shopping mall on September 21, 2013, killing 61 people.

A police officer walk past the debris of the Westgate shopping mall. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE
A police officer walk past the debris of the Westgate shopping mall. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE

The committee of 20 members handed over its report to Commerce and Tourism Secretary Phyllis Kandie on Monday.

Chairman of the Committee Governor Evans Kidero called for the immediate implementation of the report in order to clear any public misconceptions.

“This is a serious report that should not be shelved but acted upon with immediate effect to avoid perceptions that the committee was set up to hoodwink the general public and international community, ” he said.

The team was appointed by Commerce and Tourism Secretary Phyllis Kandie in November 2013 to advise government on the speedy recovery mechanisms for the Westgate shopping mall.

“The committee’s task was not to conduct criminal investigations but rather to investigate, explore and make recommendations that would ensure rapid restoration of the Westgate shopping mall,” said Dr Kidero.

Mrs Kandie said she would consult widely within government before commencement of implementation of the report.

She noted that while the recovery process may not be easy, it is a necessary one that calls for massive participation to succeed.

“The restoration of business at the mall and the building of public confidence in the shopping culture are critical for a restoration of normalcy and growth in the retail sector, ” she said.