Covid-19: Kilifi deputy governor Saburi faces arrest

Sunday March 22 2020

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi. He has directed residents to observe safety rules to help fight coronavirus pandemic. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi will be prosecuted after completing the 14-day forced quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said on Sunday.

Mr Saburi had refused to self-isolate after arriving from Germany, which is afflicted by coronavirus, on March 7.

Mr Kagwe said the number of positive cases has risen to 15, and that practising hygiene such as hand-washing and embracing the social distance rule will help limit the spread of the virus.

Tracking coronavirus

Further, Governor Amason Kingi dispatched health officers to track down people who came into contact with his deputy.

"The emergency response teams have already been deployed across the county to trace these people," he said.


Governor Kingi disclosed that despite testing negative, he started self-isolation on Thursday last week as a precautionary measure.

"Let me emphasise that we must all strictly observe safety measures earlier communicated by both the national and county governments. We shall be reviewing these advisories as the situation dictates."


Locals took to social media to condemn the deputy governor, referring to him as "selfish and irresponsible".

This was after some residents claimed they interacted with Mr Saburi by hugging him and shaking his hands after his return.

Kilifi South MP Ken Chonga said he had an opportunity to talk to Mr Saburi, who was very remorseful.

"He told me that when he landed from Berlin, Germany, he took himself to Mombasa hospital where he was admitted for three days, had medical check-up and was later discharged after doctors ascertained he had a clean bill of health," Mr Chonga said.


Last Wednesday, Mr Kingi held a Cabinet meeting where Sh73 million was allocated to help fight the coronavirus.

The governor also announced that his administration will distribute free hand sanitisers at all bus stops and markets.

At the same time, the governor banned operation of bars and nightclubs and weddings for the next 30 days; only immediate family members will be allowed to attend funerals, and contributions should be made via mobile-money services.