MOMBASA, Kenya, April 6 – The Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi will spend four more days at the port police station in Mombasa for allegedly refusing to self-quarantine after arriving in the country on March 6.
The deputy governor was arrested on Friday, April 3, after being discharged from Coast General Hospital following his recovery from the contagious coronavirus.
Saburi was arraigned before the Mombasa Resident Magistrate Rita Amwai on Monday.
However, no charges were read against him.
Edgar Mulamula, from the office of Director of Public Prosecution, filed an application before the court seeking 14 more days to continue holding Saburi in a government facility.
Mulamula wanted the DG to be held at the Manyani GK Prison pending full investigation.
In an affidavit by Investigation Officer Elvis Charo, the DPP argued that Saburi failed to self-isolate himself, whereby risking lives of thousands of people.
The DPP also said Saburi’s life was in danger because some individuals had vowed to attack him if he goes back to Kilifi.
“We have information that the residents are angered by the accused person and have vowed to cause him harm if he goes back home,” read part of the affidavit.
However, Saburi’s lawyer George Kithi said the affidavit and the application filed by the prosecution lacked substance and cannot move the court to grant them 14 more days.
Kithi argued that Saburi never tested positive for COVID-19, therefore the government cannot continue forcing him into isolation.
Kithi submitted a medical report that showed the deputy governor was tested three times, since he was forced into isolation at coast general hospital on March 21.
“The accused person was tested on March 23; the results were negative from COVID-19. On March 26, a repeat test was done, he was negative and on March 31, he was tested again, he was found to be negative. He has never tested positive,” said Kithi.
He asked the court to allow Saburi to self-quarantine at his Rabai home.
Mombasa resident magistrate Rita Amwai directed that the accused continue to be held at the port police station until Thursday.
“I have listened carefully to the application and submission. The issues be raised will require some time. The suspect will continue to be held until April 9 (Thursday), when I will make a ruling,” said Amwai.
Kenya had registered 158 coronavirus cases as at Monday, April 5 when President Uhuru Kenyatta imposed travel restrictions to and from the counties of Nairobi, Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa.
The health ministry has confirmed four people had recovered from the virus with four others including a 66-year-old and a six-year-old having succumbed.
The four persons who died all had pre-existing conditions, the health ministry indicated.