ODM leader Raila Odinga has dismissed reports that he recently came into close contact with Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi who has since tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Saburi, who is under forced quarantine, had refused to self-isolate after arriving from Germany, which is afflicted by Coronavirus, on March 7.
The DG attended a staff and Cabinet meeting without putting himself under 14 days quarantine.
Reports emerged on social media on Monday that Saburi met Odinga last week during the former Prime Minister’s visit in Mombasa and was exposed to the virus.
After the alleged meeting, Odinga flew to Nairobi where he met other leaders including Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Deputy President William Ruto at indisposed Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju’s Karen home.
In a statement issued by his spokesman Dennis Onyango on Monday, while Odinga acknowledged that he made a low-key trip to Mombasa, he denied meeting the Kilifi Deputy Governor.
He rubbished the claims on social media terming them as “lies and malice”.
Odinga noted that the only Deputy Governor from the Coastal region that he met during his tour is Mombasa DG William Kingi.
“During the Mombasa visit, Mr Odinga did not meet with any of the leaders of the Coastal counties or their deputies, except the Deputy Governor of Mombasa County Dr William Kingi. He DID NOT MEET Deputy Governor of Kilifi County, ” the statement reads in part.
“Mr Odinga appeals to the public to treat reports indicating otherwise as lies and malice. He appeals to Kenyans to treat such reports as the work of people who have failed to comprehend the magnitude of the challenge the nation is facing and instead find pleasure in abusing social media platforms to spread misinformation to cause fear and panic, a trend the State must arrest urgently.”
Odinga said he had fully complied with the social distancing directive issued by the government in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.
He said he had suspended foreign trips, public gatherings and meetings and physical operations at his Capitol Hill offices.
Saburi’s condition was revealed on Sunday by Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe.
In his state of the nation address, Kagwe said Saburi will be arrested and charged for refusing to self-quarantine immediately he is discharged from hospital.
Kagwe said the government is tracing individuals who came into contact with Saburi.
Already, Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi is in self-isolation after coming into close contact with his deputy.
As of Monday, March 23, confirmed cases in the country stood at 15 with several suspected cases awaiting test results.