9 November 2012

Kenya: Slain Geologist's Wife Weeps in Court

The wife of Scottish geologist Campbell Bridges who was killed by miners in Taveta in 2009 broke down in tears yesterday as she recounted events that lead to her husband's death.

Judith Bridges said she received a phone call from her son Bruce, who was with his father, and a Philip Siengo, when they were attacked by a gang of about 30 people in their mine.

"At about 4.20pm, I received a frantic call from my son. He said they had been attacked and his dad was in bad shape. He requested me to get flying doctors and organise for an emergency plane to take my husband to Nairobi," recalled Judith.

She was testifying in a case in which seven people, including a relative of Gender minister Naomi Shaban, were charged with the murder of Bridges on August 11, 2009.

Judith told the court that her husband was pronounced dead on arrival at Moi Hospital in Voi but she was not informed about until Bruce got to Nairobi where she was.

The body of Bridges was taken to the Lee funeral home where two post-mortems were carried out by the government pathologist and a private pathologist they brought in from the Nairobi hospital. Bridges body was the cremated in Kenya.

She told Judge Maureen Odero that on the eve of Bridges' death, he had attempted to serve some illegal miners on his mine an eviction order he they had obtained.

"But before they were evicted, they murdered my husband," she told the court. She claimed the illegal miners who attacked her husband and son worked for Tia Akili mining company owned by Education assistant minister Calist Mwatela.

She recognized three of the seven accused people. She said she knew Daniel Mdachi Mnene, who is Shaban's kin, James Chacha, and Osman Abdi. Other accused are Mohammed Dadi Kokane, Alfred Njururuka, Samuel Mwachala and Crispinus Mkunguzi.

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