- Title: Kenyan court charges legislator with spreading coronavirus
- Date: 10th April 2020
- Summary: MOMBASA, KENYA (APRIL 9, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SENIOR MAGISTRATE RITAH AMWAYI PRESIDING IN AN OPEN AIR COURT KILIFI DEPUTY GOVERNOR GIDEON SABURI STANDING IN COURT AS HIS CHARGES ARE READ (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENIOR MAGISTRATE, RITAH AMWAYI, SAYING: "Looking at the nature of the offense and what is alleged is a bit new to us, and it is my opinion as I have indicated in my ruling here that I will need some information from the medical health officer as to the status of the accused person." VARIOUS OF SABURI STANDING IN COURT EXTERIOR OF MOMBASA LAW COURTS MOMBASA, KENYA (APRIL 3, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SABURI LEAVING HOSPITAL IN HANDCUFFS ESCORTED BY POLICE SABURI GETTING IN THE BACK OF A POLICE TRUCK
- Keywords: 14-day government-enforced quarantine COVID-19 County Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi Mombasa
- Reuters ID: LVA001C8WQIJB
- Location: MOMBASA AND NAIROBI, KENYA
- City: MOMBASA AND NAIROBI, KENYA
- Country: Kenya
- Duration: 00:01:20
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: A Kenyan court charged a senior regional government official on Thursday with willfully spreading the novel coronavirus by going out in public without taking precautions, an accusation he denied.
Kenya, which has 179 confirmed cases and six deaths from the coronavirus, has banned all public gatherings and limited the number of mourners at funerals.
The Deputy Governor of the coastal region of Kilifi County, Gideon Saburi, was arrested on Friday after completing a 14-day government-enforced quarantine after the health ministry said he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Mombasa Senior Magistrate's court accused him of committing the crime between March 6 and 22, but gave no details.
"Gideon Saburi...within Kilifi County...while suffering from an infectious disease, namely COVID-19, willfully and unlawfully, without taking any precaution, exposed yourself to the public," the charge sheet read in court said.
Saburi denied the charge and was remanded until April 15 when his application for bail will be heard.
Saburi's lawyer said he was being treated unfairly because of comments made by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Kenyatta said on Thursday Saburi had disregarded the rules and traveled to Mombasa and Kilifi after landing in Nairobi from Germany.
"You don't have the right to go infecting other people with this virus just because you are a leader," Kenyatta said in an interview on Tuesday with Kikuyu radio stations.
"It is my wish, I very much request the court jail him for 10 years because of the people he has infected."
Last month, a Kenyan legislator who turned up in parliament was forced out by cries of "quarantine! quarantine!" after another lawmaker pointed out he'd recently arrived from London.
South Africa put its communications minister on "special leave" for two months, one of which will be unpaid, on Wednesday for breaking the rules of a countrywide lockdown and having lunch with a former official.
(Production: Patrick Kanga, Jackson Njehia)
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