CCTV footage has emerged showing Kenyan troops appearing to loot goods as they cleared out the Westgate Shopping Mall after last month’s terrorist attack.
The footage, taken on security cameras in the complex, seems to show soldiers taking boxes of mobile phones from a shop where a body lies on the ground.
Kenyan forces took four days to make safe the Westgate centre in Nairobi after it was attacked by al Shabaab militants on September 22.
Soldiers from the Kenyan Defence Force (KDF) were initially praised by the Kenyan public for the operation, in which several members of the security services were shot.
But now, since the CCTV was broadcast by a local TV station, the public in Nairobi has reacted with outrage.
Kenya’s biggest-selling newspaper The Nation ran an article called “Shame of soldiers looting Westgate” under the caption “caught on camera”.
Gunmen from the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group massacred at least 67 people when they raided the upmarket Westgate mall.
Grenades were hurled at shoppers and bullets sprayed at members of the public, including children, as a “punishment” for Kenya sending troops to Somalia.
The closed-circuit television footage shows soldiers taking what appears to be unpacked mobile phone boxes from a phone store while others are in a mobile money transfer shop.
A couple of metres from the shop, a pool of spattered blood identifies the spot where a wounded man, crawling on the floor, was shot five times.
A parliamentary committee set up to probe the four-day siege found the KDF “never participated in looting”.
Despite this, Kenya’s press have criticised the KDF which, until now, has been considered one of Kenya’s most professional institutions.
It has led to a deep sense of uneasiness among the Nairobi public.
University of Nairobi student Ndeva Vitalis said the parliamentary committee’s findings were a lie.
“CCTV is the truth,” he said.
One doctor, who asked not to be named, told Reuters: “The CCTV footage made me lose faith in KDF, who we all strongly supported after they crushed al Shabaab in Somalia.
“Now there is some sort of a cover-up taking place.”
Emmanuel Chirchir, a spokesman for the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), said on Sunday that a news conference organised for Wednesday would deal with looting allegations.