Gideon Saburi arrested for refusing to isolate himself

Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi was seized at the Coast General Hospital on April 3, 2020. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Mr Saburi is accused of not isolating himself upon his arrival from Germany as required by the government in the fight against coronavirus.

Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi was Friday arrested by Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers in Mombasa.

Mr Saburi was picked from Coast General Hospital by the team which was led by the regional DCI boss, Washington Njiru. The team of eight officers arrived at CPGH at around 1pm to pick up Mr Saburi.

The DG was handcuffed and escorted to a waiting police Land Rover.

He was taken to Urban Police headquarters, where, by the time we went to press, he was still recording his statement.

The DG was arrested for not isolating himself upon arrival from Germany on March 7, resulting in the spread of coronavirus to several people who came into contact with him.

The Coast region is now a Covid-19 hotspot after Nairobi.

Mr Saburi tested positive for coronavirus and was taken into forceful isolation until yesterday. On Thursday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had announced that he had recovered.

“I am also pleased to announce to you that the Deputy Governor of Kilifi County has fully recovered and as you know the issue of the law will now follow up with him,” said Mr Kagwe on Thursday.

From the time he returned to Kenya, the DG is reported to have attended three different burial ceremonies, where he met leaders who included the Chief Administrative Secretary for Lands, Gideno Mung’aro, Kilifi Woman Rep Getrude Mbeyu and Rabai MP William Kamoti, among others.

The leaders have since gone into self-isolation, with one testing positive for the disease.

Mr Saburi's boss, Governor Amason Kingi, had asked him to take a 30-day leave after he learnt of his arrival in the county, but the DG on March 16 headed to his office and met with his staff.

“He attended a meeting with the team which is dealing with coronavirus in the county. During that meeting, he was with some CECs who attended a cabinet meeting with the governor the following day,” said a source from Kilifi County government.

Later on, Mr Saburi was traced to a house in Mtwapa, along Posta Road.

It took efforts by senior staff at Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho’s office to alert security officers of Mr Saburi's wherebouts in Mtwapa.

“At the house where he was found, there was a woman and her maid, whom we suspect came into direct contact with him,” said another source.

Mr Saburi also came into contact with two senior officers from Mtwapa police station, who have since been isolated.

While in isolation, Mr Saburi spoke to Nation where he apologised for the pain he had caused.

 “I am very remorseful for bringing anxiety on the coronavirus spread in Kilifi County and the entire country, and I hope that people will find heart to forgive me,” Mr Saburi said.

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