Kenyan Deputy Gov arrested for flouting self-isolation order by attending weddings, burials

Gideon Saburi, the Deputy Governor of Kilifi, a Kenyan county, has been arrested and arraigned for violating the Coronavirus quarantine order in the country.

It was gathered that in spite of the Kenyan government’s directive that travellers entering the country from a destination with confirmed cases of Coronavirus to proceed to self-isolation, Saburi ignored the precautionary measure and went ahead to attend several weddings and funerals after he returned from Germany on March 5th.

Saburi was also said to have mingled with staff in the county and even his boss, the Governor, in complete disregard of the government directive aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

Before the Deputy Governor’s arraignment, Mombasa County DCIO, Anthony Mureithi had said the deputy governor will be interrogated before any charges are preferred against him.

He said, “We are recording his statement. We must establish whether he signed Covid-19 self-declaration forms, was he spreading the virus intentionally and many other things.”

Following his arraignment on Monday April 6, a Kenyan court granted the prosecution’s request for the Kilifi Deputy Governor to spend three more days in police custody. 

Prosecutor, Edge Mulamula told the court that medical experts at the Coast General Hospital’s isolation centre had recommended that Saburi stays at home in self-imposed quarantine for another 14 days until a final Covid-19 test is done.

The prosecution sought more time to complete investigations but wanted the court to detain Saburi for 14 days, saying that the Kilifi leader cannot be trusted to quarantine himself.

Saburi’s lawyer, George Kithi reportedly countered the request before it was granted. He argued that there is no evidence to show that the deputy governor had at any point tested positive for Covid-19, and that he was wrongly accused by the state.

He said, “Medical report from Cast General Hospital isolation center have not indicated anywhere that the DG was positive, only instruction is another 14 days of quarantine outside isolation centre. Hence there is nothing to prove that he infected any residents.”

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