Kenya has announced plans to reopen Westgate Mall in July for the first time since the 2013 terrorist attack that left dozens dead, officials said on Monday.
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said the government was committed to restoring the glory that the mall once had before the al-Qaeda linked al Shabaab, took siege of it, killing and injuring dozens and maiming it to shambles.
He said the government had efforts already in place to restore the Westgate site, one of the symbols of Kenya’s growing wealth and cosmopolitan flair. This is also in bid to boost the already thriving Kenya’s private sector.
Officials said terrorists may have been able to kill Kenya’s loved ones but they had no capability to touch the country’s spirit of growth and restoration. He added that despite al Shabaab’s desire to sow hatred among Kenyans on religious grounds, Kenyans still love each other which was demonstrated in the way the attack united them.
A spokeswoman for Kidero said the high-end mall in the capital would formally open its doors to the public on July 1, but shops, cafes and restaurants would not start up again until some months later.
A few months after the attack, al Shabaab has regularly hit Kenya claiming the attacks are in response to Kenya’s deployment of troops in Somalia. Kenya’s government has said its security forces are frustrating the attacks.