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Assailants threaten workers who witnessed killing of their boss

Friday August 20 2010

File | nation Mr Campbell Bridges, who was killed at Kambanga in Mwatate District. His former employees have been receiving death threats.

File | nation Mr Campbell Bridges, who was killed at Kambanga in Mwatate District. His former employees have been receiving death threats. 

By Jonathan Manyindo, js[email protected]

Former employees of a Scottish geologist who witnessed his killing by a mob at Kambanga in Mwatate District following a mining dispute are receiving death threats one year after the incident.

Since the killing of Mr Campbell Bridges, who was also a miner, the workers have been separated from their families after the assailants kept on sending messages threatening to kill them.

Text message

In April this year, one of them received a mobile phone text message saying that even if he kept on hiding they would catch up with him.

On Monday, a suspect believed to be among the key witnesses in the Bridges murder case, was arrested at Sultan Hamud on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway. Two others have gone missing ahead of the hearing.

The case in which four people have been arrested and charged with the killing of the investor near his mine is lined up for hearing in Mombasa next month.

Makueni police boss Joshua ole Leina said on Friday that the suspect was being held at the Kibwezi police cells for interrogation.

The suspect, who was also an employee of Mr Bridges, was arrested after being suspected of being one of the robbers police sought for terrorising area residents.

Speaking by telephone from his Wote office, Mr Leina said the suspect was arrested along with two other people but did not recover any weapon from their vehicle.

If investigations prove that he was really the one police were looking for, he will be charged with robbery with violence, added Mr Leina.

An employee, who cannot be named for fear of his life, said the killers had been hunting down the mine workers.

“We are living in fear and in most cases those targeted workers operate from various foreign countries for fear of their lives,” the source said.

Mr Bruce Bridges said since the killing of his father, who was the chairman of Fast Green Garnet Mining Company in August last year, the place had become highly insecure for them to continue with their business despite hiring Administration Police to guard the place.

The insecurity has been worsened after herdsmen from northern Kenya and believed to be armed, took over the greater part of the ranches in Voi and Mwatate.