“IT WAS around 3 pm. I was busy serving a customer at the Teller. Suddenly, we heard a loud bang that sounded like a transformer blast.” A shaken Susan Wambui who works as a cashier at a Forex Bureau next to Dusit2 hotel narrates.
This day will remain stamped in her memories forever. She missed death by a whisker and gives all the glory to God who saved her life.
A day, that another terror attack left scores injured and many dead. The government of Kenya confirmed at least 21 people lost lives. This was another deadly attack after the Westgate Mall attack that also shook the nation and the entire world.
A suicide bomber blew himself up as other gunmen sprayed bullets everywhere. They had calculated their moves well.
Survivors always have tales of horror to tell the world; some chose to go silent while others opened their hearts to narrate the whole ordeal.
I made several calls to some of the survivors to narrate their experiences, many were still in shock. One of them asked me if he will be quoted and was very hesitant to give an interview. The nuns at the Pauline Family nuns whose windows were shattered by bullets remained mum. Their convent is adjacent to the terror buildings.
Wambui who agreed to an interview with Tujipange Africa Media, continues to talk about this incident that sounded like a horror movie according to her. In between our interview she laughs then again, she gets serious and gets back to her point.
“It is not an experience that I would wish anyone to go through, you remain always afraid of anybody holding a gun and more so any form of a blast.” Wambui says.
Wambui confirms that a few seconds after that blast her boss ran out to check what was happening and he came screaming, “Al-Shabaab, Al-Shabaab “. Everybody was ordered to stop what they were doing. They scampered for safety into the safe together with the customers they were serving.
“As we ran to hide in the safe, smoke had engulfed near the building and several gunshots and blasts followed. We were shaken to death, we knew anytime they would get hold of us and finish us,” an emotional Wambui narrated.
Wambui, together with her colleagues started texting friends and families calling for help to be rescued. “I sent a text to a friend and also to a WhatsApp group telling them that we were under siege by Al-Shabaab.”
She stops in the middle and laughs, “My friends in the WhatsApp group started making fun of me saying that ukipata pesa tugawie – if you land on money share with us. After sometime pictures and news started going around and they confirmed that my distress call was serious.
Wambui tried calling her sick mother in Limuru. She did not pick her call. She then called a neighbor to pass the message to her mother. “I told my neighbor to tell her to pray for me because I did not know my fate of living – the terrorists were now with us and we could hear them shooting, plus the Kenya security who came in to intervene.
They were trapped in the office for three hours, all they could hear was gunfire and blasts.
They made silent prayers to God to spare their lives from ugly jaws of terrorists.
“Our neighbors in the next office were evacuated and when they went out, they told the security forces that we were still trapped inside the office. They gave them our boss name and they came at our door shouting his name.”
”We all scrambled towards the door with our hands up while the security officers assured us that we were safe.”
Wambui says that as they moved swiftly there was a series of gun exchange and they were pulled back to the office for a few minutes. “They then came for us and we were taken to the gate where we rested for 20 minutes and we left our contacts and names.”
“My relatives and friends got in panic when I send a distress message, but after we were rescued, a local television station filmed us and they were able to see me among the survivors.
Wambui reveals that she has not received any form of counselling, she has gone back to her village to rest as she waits for a word from her boss.
”I do not feel like going back to work again, am so scared of terror attack again.” She affirms.
Somalia-based Islamist group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack.