MOMBASA, Kenya, April 15 – A magistrate court sitting in Mombasa will on Thursday make a ruling on whether to release Kilifi deputy governor Gideon Saburi on bail or not.
Saburi was arrested on April 3 for allegedly exposing the public to an infectious disease, COVID-19, after defying self-quarantine regulations when he jetted into the country from a foreign trip on March 6.
He later tested positive for COVID-19, according to medical report from Kenya Medial Research Institute in Kilifi, which has been submitted in court.
On Wednesday, state counsel Alloys Kemo applied to have Saburi detained for 10 more days to allow the investigation officers to complete their investigations.
He had already spent 13 days at the Port police Station since his arrest.
Kemo said the police need more time to collect evidence and record statement from key witnesses, including Kilifi governor Amason Kingi and Kilifi County Finance Chief Officer.
Kingi and the Finance Chief Officer were supposed to write statements with police on Tuesday but were not available. The police have issued a summon to the Chief Officer to report to Coast regional DCI offices.
“We need evidence from staff who work under him and key documents from the Kilifi county government and the immigration offices. Given his status in Kilifi county, he might intimidate the subordinate staff,” said Kemo.
He added that the police need to get evidence from the accused person mobile phones to establish his geolocation from the day he jetted into the country.
“We are now asking for 10 more days to enable the investigating officers cover enough ground,” he said.
However, Saburi’s lawyer George Kithi accused the police of incompetency in their investigations and with the intension of continue holding DG as a punishment.
“The accused person never tested positive for Covid-19, why do they want to continue holding him in isolation. An insolation centre should be on medical grounds, not punishment,” he said.
Kithi said the purported medical report from KEMRI, dated March 21, submitted in court had so many loopholes.
“The report does not mention anywhere or confirm that the accused person ever tested positive for Covid-19. The report is a photocopy, not stamped lastly my client never submitted any samples to this institution nor its staff for Covid-19 testing,” he said.
Kithi table medical report from Coast General Hospital, which showed that the DG was tested trice on March 23, March 26 and March 31 and all results were negative.
He said the report had been manufactured by the prosecution.
“What is the medical explanation that my client was positive on March 21, but two days later he is negative without taking any medication,” said Kithi.
Mombasa Principal Magistrate Elvis Micheka, who heard the matter, said he will deliver a ruling on Thursday at 9am.