Saburi failed to adhere to the state directive to self-quarantine after arriving into the country from Germany
After a four-hour cat-and-mouse game with detectives, Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi was yesterday arrested by police for allegedly failing to go into self isolation after arriving from Germany.
It was an unexpected turn of events for a person who had just cheated death from the dreaded coronavirus to exchange his hospital bed for a police cell.
Eng Saburi was picked up by detectives some minutes after 2pm and handcuffed before he was whisked away to Port Police Station cells.
The deputy governor had initially refused to be discharged from hospital demanding to see his lawyer.
On Thursday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the deputy governor would be arrested for failing to adhere to the state directive to self-quarantine.
Mr Kagwe said Saburi who jetted back into the country on March 5 from Germany and failed to go into quarantine will be charged later.
Yesterday, Mombasa County DCIO Anthony Mureithi said the deputy governor will be interrogated before any charges are preferred against him.
“We are recording his statement. We must establish whether he signed Covid-19 self-declaration forms, was he spreading the virus intentionally and many other things,” said Mureith.
Other reports indicated that the police camped at the Coast General Hospital from Thursday evening when it was declared that Saburi had recovered from Covid-19 after 14-days treatment. He was discharged after clearing the bill.
He was forcefully quarantined at the hospital’s private wing, Ramatulla, and later tested positive for coronavirus, weeks after he arrived from Germany via Amsterdam.
Saburi’s failure to self-isolate sparked uproar from the public after it emerged that the state was tracking more than 300 people he came into contact with.
Under section 27 of the Public Health Act, the state has powers to quarantine any person infected with a virus until he or she heals and ceases to be a danger to the public.
According to Section 28 of the same Act, a person who fails to adhere to the directive to self-isolate is liable to an offence that attracts a jail term of 2 years or a fine of Sh30, 000 or both upon conviction.
Under section 186 of the penal code, a person who unlawfully or under negligence does any act which he or she knows or has reason to believe to be, likely, to spread the infection any disease that is a danger to the life if guilty of a misdemeanor.
Police sources said the state is likely to charge Saburi under the Public Health Act because it prescribes harsh penalties.
The Saturday Standard learned that detectives were waiting for instruction from police headquarters whether to release the DG on a police bond, charge him to transfer him to Nairobi.
Yesterdaym police in three vehicles, patiently, waited at the hospital’s parking after the deputy governor demanded that his lawyer should be present before he walks out of the facility.
Detectives granted his wishes despite an earlier indication that they were ready to forcefully eject him from the hospital.
Meanwhile, several Kenyans are stuck in Qatar and Indian airports following the March 25 suspension of all international flights into the country to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Abdusalam Kassim who is stranded at Doha’s Hamad Airport in Qatar said Kenyans who were unable to beat the Government’s deadline were stuck at various international airports.
“I slept at Tel Aviv airport for 14 days after I was denied entry into Israel. I decided to return vie Doha and for the last four days there are not flights to Kenya,” said Kassim in a phone interview. He said several Kenyans racing home to beat the deadline before the suspension of international flights are stranded in transit lounges of various global airports.
“I’m with some 40 Kenyans. We have been sleeping in the transit lounge for the last four days. Some have been here since March 26 because there is no flight home,” he said.
Mr Kassim who vied for the Mombasa senatorial post on a Jubilee ticket in 2017 said efforts to reach President Uhuru Kenyatta on phone were futile.
“I’m suffering from diabetes. I can’t get medication because we are not allowed to leave the airport. Let them allow us entry, we are ready to be quarantined for 60 days,” he said.
Yesterday, hundreds of Germans were evacuated from Mombasa through Moi International Airport.