alexa Killers of gems miner still free - Daily Nation

Killers of gems miner still free

Tuesday September 8 2009

By JONATHAN MANYINDO

Two key suspects in last month’s killing of a Scottish gemstone miner in Mwatate District are still at large.

Although the suspects are known, police say they “are still playing hide and seek game”.

Taita Taveta police chief Herbert Khaemba confirmed on Tuesday that two of the suspects believed to have stabbed Mr Campbell Bridges with a spear had been seen in Mombasa and Tana River.

Seek protection

“Those who committed the crime were not from around here but were from out of the district,” he said.

Mr Bridges was attacked and killed by youths on August 11, 2009. The gemstone miner was in the company of his son and several of his workers and were returning to the camp from Wundanyi where they had gone to seek police protection from the gang that had invaded his Kambanga land.

“It is our commitment to have the criminals in court even if it will take 10 years. We won’t relent in our efforts to hunt for them” said Mr Khaemba.

The police chief said only Mr Alfred Njuruka had been charged with the killing. Mr Njuruka, of Taita Taveta Small-Scale Miners Association, was arrested in his Malukiloriti home.

The police chief said Mr Bridges camp had been put under tight security since his death to avoid vandalism of property and theft of the precious stones believed to be found there.

He said illegal miners popularly known as zururas had become a security threat in the vast ranches, prompting the beefing up of security in the area.