First Pharmacy has issued a 24-hour ultimatum to Uganda police to retract claims that they recovered stolen COVID19 vaccines in their premises.
Several media houses on Sunday quoted Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Police Spokesperson, ASP Luke Owoyesigire as saying that they had raided a number of pharmacies including First Pharmacy facilities in Mulago where they recovered COVID19 Astra Zeneca Vaccines as well as arresting a number of their staff.
But speaking to reporters on Monday morning, Ahmed Yusufu, the Managing Director of First Pharmacy, said they are in shock over police allegations which he said hold no truth.
“We want to set the record straight. It is not true that they raided First Pharmacy, not in Mulago or not at any of our branches. The police didn’t arrest any of my staff. They didn’t get any COVID19 Astra Zeneca Vaccine from First Pharmacy, because we do not have any COVID19 vaccines anyway,” Yusufu said on Monday.
“First Pharmacy does not in any way deal in COVID19 Vaccines. We distance ourselves from these allegations raises by Mr Owoyesigire. It is very disturbing that police can make such outrageous allegations,” he added.
According to Yusufu, the CCTV footage confirms that several police officers on Sunday stormed and entered a building next to where First Pharmacy operates and walked out with computers, laptops and fridges as well as arresting several people there-in but not within first pharmacy facilities.
He says when they engaged with police after their allegations, the Security Force in a turn of events, admitted that they had made a mistake.
“When we checked with the police, they said that it was a minor error and a misplaced identification. They thought that the building was entirely owned by First Pharmacy which is not factually true,” Yusufu says.
He wonders why police did not ask for identification of the suspects to ascertain whether they were from First Pharmacy and then summon the management for questioning.
“It is wrong for police to get facts wrong. It has cost our reputation. We are a professional pharmacy and we take our business very seriously,” explains Yusuf.
“We therefore demand am apology from Police about these serious allegations and a correction from every media house that published the story. We can not be known for stealing COVID19 Vaccines, no. We have also given them 24 hours to put this straight and offer a written apology in the press for misrepresenting and misreporting about First Pharmacy,” he adds.
This news website understands that Police Spokesperson, CP Fred Enanga will later today issue a response to claims by First Pharmacy that no COVID19 Astra Zeneca Vaccines were recovered from their premises.
Currently, government of Uganda is yet to allow private sector health providers to import and distribute their own COVID-19 vaccines. Most African countries have not allowed the private importation of vaccines largely due to fears of fake vaccines swamping markets.