Fact-Check: Has Kilifi DG Resigned After Testing Positive for Covid-19?

  • File image of Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi inspecting a lighting project at a home in Kilifi County
    File image of Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi inspecting a lighting project at a home in Kilifi County
    Twitter
  • Widely circulated reports shared on social media on Wednesday, March 25 claimed that Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi had resigned after testing positive for Coronavirus (Covid-19).

    Saburi is slated to face prosecution for refusing to self-quarantine and had attracted the wrath of county residents after freely interacting with them upon arrival from a trip to Germany on March 6.

    A statement shared on platforms including Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter purportedly authored by Saburi alleged that after reflecting on his actions, the deputy governor had decided to resign and donate Ksh5 million to the Department of Tropical Medicines and Infectious Diseases at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture (JKUAT).

    Investigations by Kenyans.co.ke, however, confirmed that Saburi had not resigned and the statement was, indeed, fake.

    A photo of Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi giving an address in Ganda Ward, Kilifi.
    Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi giving an address in Ganda Ward, Kilifi.
    Twitter

    Charles Nyiro, Governor Amason Kingi's Communications Director, revealed that they had also seen the statement online but no official communication had been sent to the same effect.

    "As far as we are concerned, that is fake news. We have only seen it on social media," he noted.

    Nyiro explained that for a deputy governor to leave office, he had to notify his boss in writing, something Saburi had not yet done.

    "We haven't received any official communication. One has to write to the governor, you cannot resign on social media so there's no truth to those reports," he stated.

    Additionally, Nyiro spoke on the condition of Kingi who started self-quarantine on Thursday, March 19 after coming into contact with Saburi. Kingi had tested negative for Coronavirus.

    "The governor is still in self-isolation until he completes 14 days and he is doing quite well," Nyiro stated.

    After returning to Kenya, Saburi had made a number of appearances at events in the county, sparking fears on the number of people he may have come into contact with.

    On March 7, he met a group of MCAs at Royal Hotel in Mazeras to discuss preparations for International Women's Day celebrations that were to be held in Rabai within Kaloleni Sub-County, Kilifi on March 8

    Days later, he attended a funeral at Bandora in Kamba-Ribe ward.

    In addition, Saburi was spotted at a popular nightclub in Bamburi, Mombasa on March 19 and at a shopping centre known as City Mall in the Coastal city on Friday, March 20.

    Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi
    Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi addresses reporters at Timboni Primary School in Kilifi County on January 7, 2017.
    Daily Nation