A prominent British expatriate gemstone expert, Mr. Campbell Bridges, who has a long history in Kenya’s gemstone industry and Kenyan society at large, was murdered near his licensed mine in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park Wednesday, only hours after reporting to the nearest police and administration offices that local business rivals had made threats against his life earlier on.
Apparently squatters and illegal miners were encroaching his own mining concession on and when trying to have them evicted from his property they became agitated and threatening.
Not long after returning from the area’s district office, where he had filed his complaint, he was then apparently set upon by a mob and killed before being able to raise the alarm and get security forces into the area.
Police sources quoted by informers in Kenya did say they were aware of the identities of the murderers and were hunting them down to bring them to justice.
Mr. Bridges had previously published his own accounts of prospecting “in the bush” and is credited with having discovered the now world-famous Tsavorite and Tanzanite semi precious stones, when he first set out to prospect in this wilderness area of Kenya.
This being a local incident, albeit probably widely reported, is not thought to have an impact on the country’s tourism industry, which has undergone a revival in recent months in Kenya and Eastern Africa as a whole, as the global economic and financial crisis is now thought to be on the way out, making place for recovery once again.
Also, when contacted by eTN East Africa , the chairman of the Kenya Tourist Board,Jake Grieves-Cook, immediately responded and equally pointed out that there was absolutely no connection between this unfortunate incident and tourism and that it was apparently linked to some dispute between Mr. Bridges and persons engaged in illegal mining activities on his mining concession near Wundanyi. Jake Grieves-Cook expressed his personal regret at the news of the killing of Mr. Bridges and hoped that the police would be able to take immediate action to bring to justice those involved in the murder.