Victims of Lamu attacks criticise government’s ‘broken’ promise to compensate for...

Victims of Lamu attacks criticise government’s ‘broken’ promise to compensate for losses

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Mpeketoni attack damaged property
A businessman assesses the damage to his property following attacks in Mpeketoni in June 2014

Owners of buildings burnt down during last year’s June and July terror attacks in Mpeketoni, Lamu county, have given up waiting for the government to fulfill a promise it made to reconstruct the buildings, they said on Friday.

Days after the attacks which left at least 100 people dead, dozens wounded and thousands forced to flee their homes, devolution and planning cabinet secretary Anne Waiguru toured the area alongside other top government officials, and committed that the national government would rebuild the destroyed buildings.

Waiguru was further quoted promising that her ministry would deploy officers from the National Youth Service in Mpeketoni, to evaluate the extent of damage caused before the reconstruction process took off.

But the local business community who were to benefit from the reconstruction, said none of these promises had materialised.

“It has been seven months now since we lost our property. We have waited but nothing seems to happen. We want (government) to tell us if they really meant what they promised us,” Francis Ngengi, chairperson of the Mpeketoni Business People Association, said.

Ngengi said government needed to rescue the business fraternity whose livelihood he said had suffered as a result of the attacks that left most of their business investments destroyed.

Businessmen accused local insurance firms of turning their backs on them despite their having covered their businesses with them.

“Most of us have been saving with insurance firms for years but when we approached them and asked them to help us restore our torched vehicles and buildings, they told us they did not cover terror attacks,” said John Kiuna, whose hotel was burnt down during the attacks.

Earlier on, the then Lamu county commissioner Njenga Miiri had said a fiscal report on the amount of damage caused had already been compiled and was being worked on in Nairobi.

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