Kilifi DG Saburi held for 3 days in isolation case

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 00:00 |
Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi

Boniface Msangi

Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi, who was yesterday arraigned for breaching the government’s directive to self-quarantine after jetting into the country from Germany, will spend three more days at Port Police Station.

This is while he awaits court ruling on an application made by the State seeking to continue detaining him for 14 more days to complete investigations.

The prosecution, through Edge Mulamula, sought to detain Saburi for 14 more days at the Manyani Maximum Prison.

They argued that the DG should not be allowed to go home as he had proved that he cannot stay at home in quarantine for the 14 days recommended  by medical experts from Coast General  isolation centre, thus he is still a threat in the fight against Covid-19.

Mulamula told the court that the DG attended four burials, weddings in Kilifi county and other social events in Bamburi, Mombasa, despite having been ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days after jetting back from Germany.

The defence lawyer opposed the plea to detain Saburi, saying his client cannot be subjected to a correctional facility.

But according to the prosecution, Kilifi residents were angered by the deputy governor’s actions hence he could be subjected to mob justice if released.

Deliver ruling

The prosecution added that Saburi was, upon discharge from hospital after recovering from coronavirus, directed to self-quarantine for 14 days but he could defy that order as he allegedly did the initial one.

Saburi, through his lawyer George Kithi, said detaining him for 14 days would be illegal as he has not been charged yet.

On cross examination, the defence lawyer sought to know from the investigating officer Elvis Charo whether there were any medical reports to prove that the DG was indeed positive.

But the officer said they are still liaising with the Ministry of Health to get the results in the 14 days that they are asking from the court.

According to Kithi, on March 21, the DG was admitted to Coast General hospital isolation centre alleged to have tested positive. He said the tests were done again on March 23, and results were negative.

On March 26, a repeat test  was conducted and he was also negative, said Kithi.

Appearing before Mombasa Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti, Saburi’s lawyer said his client was not flight risk.

Saburi said there is no evidence of anger by Kilifi residents towards him, and he will not interfere with investigations.

Senior Resident magistrate Ritah Amwanyi termed the matter as sensitive and said she will deliver a ruling on April 9.

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