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Westgate’s revival starts

The government has initiated the process of restoring the Westgate shopping mall, the scene of last month’s bloody attack by Al Shabaab militants that left 67 people dead.

Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie on Thursday met with Westgate tenants to explore ways of rebuilding the upmarket mall.

The three storey building was partially destroyed allegedly by the militants during the three – day siege that followed the initial attack.

The government has been roundly criticised for its slow response to the attack and alleged looting by Kenya Defence Forces who were deployed at the scene.

Mrs Kandie refrained from giving details of the restoration plan, but confirmed that a committee will be set up to work out areas of co-operation between the businessmen and the government.

The committee will also come up with ways of mitigating job losses for the over 2,000 people who worked in the mall.

“Through this partnership, we shall be further seeking to ensure the overall national economic resilience following the tragic events by reducing levels of business collapse, investor apathy and job losses,” she said.

Mrs Kandie said the restoration of business operations will be through a Public Private Partnership model.

Experts are yet to give their verdict on the structural soundness of the building.

Rebuilding, whether partial or whole, will also depend on the pace of the insurance company that covered the building. It had a cover against acts of terrorism.

Before the attack, the Mall was supporting an economic ecosystem valued at more than Sh100 billion annually.