Kilifi deputy governor Gideon Saburi released on bail


Kilifi deputy governor Gideon Saburi has been released on Sh200, 000 cash bail or Sh500, 000 bond with a similar surety.

Saburi was also directed by a Mombasa magistrate court that he self-quarantines for 14 days and surrenders his travel documents.         

The deputy governor was arrested on April 3 for exposing the public to coronavirus after defying self-quarantine regulations when he jetted into the country on March 6. 

Mombasa Principal Magistrate Elvis Micheka while delivering the ruling dismissed an application by the Director of Public Prosecution to continue holding Saburi for 10 more days. 

“There are no compelling reasons to deny the accused person bail. He is therefore released on Sh200, 000 cash bail or a bond of Sh500, 000 with a similar amount of surety,” he said. 

He gave out conditions that in addition to self-quarantining, Saburi should not make contact with any of the witnesses in Kilifi County.

However, Saburi’s lawyer George Kithi said his client never tested positive for Covid-19, therefore he could not be held in isolation. He said the police had enough time to collect evidence since Saburi’s arrest on April 3. 

“The accused person never tested positive for Covid-19 so why do they want to continue holding him in isolation? An isolation centre should be on medical grounds, not punishment,” argued Kithi.

Kithi said the purported medical report from Kenya Medical Research Institute dated March 21 and submitted in court by the prosecution showing that Saburi had tested positive for Covid-19 was fake.

“The report does not confirm that the accused person ever tested positive for Covid-19. The report is a photocopy, does not have an official stamp, and lastly my client never submitted any samples to this institution nor its staff for Covid-19 testing,” said Kithi.

He submitted a medical report from Coast General Hospital which showed that the Deputy Governor was tested thrice on March 23, March 26 and March 31 and all results were negative.  

The matter is scheduled to proceed on May 5.