The Star (Nairobi)

8 November 2012

Kenya: Witness Tells Court Shaban Kin Threatened Geologist's Life

A relative of Gender minister Naomi Shaban allegedly threatened to kill Scottish geologist Campbell Rodney Bridges a year before he was killed.

Reverend John Ellison, 75, said Daniel Mdachi Mnene quarreled with Bridges at his mine in Taveta on September 18, 2008. He was testifying in a case in which seven people are charged with the murder of Bridges in August 11, 2009.

The seven are alleged to be part of a 30-member mob that had ambushed Bridges, his son Bruce and their four workers and stabbed him (Bridges) in the chest killing him.

Bridges owned a mining company that had been involved in a long dispute with a mining company owned by Mwatela. The reverend, who is a retired chattered accountant, said he visited Bridges at his farm in Taveta district on September 17 and stayed overnight.

Ellison was on a two-week vacation in Kenya with his wife. On September 18, 2008 Bridges was driving to Nairobi in his Land Rover while he(Ellison) drove behind him with his wife.

Ellison told Mombasa High Court Judge Maureen Odero that Bridges stopped his car near a place called Leopard Hill to talk to Mnene, who was on his claim. He (Ellison) remained in his car.

"They had a long discussion or argument out of my hearing," Ellison told the court. He said he saw a small man armed with a panga across the road. Bridges and Mnene walked to Bridges' car arguing heatedly.

Ellison told the court he heard Bridges tell Mnene: "You have no right on my claim." And Menne replied: "You are not welcome here you Rhodesian old man. If you come here again I will kill you."

The other accused include Mohammed Dadi Kokane, Alfred Njururuka, Samuel Mwachala, James Chacha, Osman Abdi and Crispinus Mkunguzi. The bridges family, including wife Juddith and son Bruce, who were in court yesterday are represented by lawyer Phillip Murgor.

The case has been going on for more than three years. The Bridges family presented a report to Attorney General Githu Muigai accusing Cabinet ministers Calist Mwatela and Shaban of interfering with investigations into the murder. The two ministers trashed the report terming the allegations as rubbish. Juddith is expected to testify today.

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