Uganda Police Force has named the twelve suspects picked up from two city pharmacies in connection to stolen COVID-19 vaccines. During the raids conducted by Crime intelligence, more than 600 doses of Astra-Zeneca corona-virus vaccine were recovered at First Pharmacy Mulago-Wandegeya and Victoria Pharmacy in Ntinda. Police also picked up twelve suspects.
Although on Monday morning, First pharmacy held a press conference disputing the allegations and demanded an apology from the police claiming no raid was conducted at their facility or vaccines recovered, Police insists some of the suspects belong to the pharmacy. Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga identified the suspects arrested from First Pharmacy as Festo, Mushabe, Deograsius Nyanzi, Nelson Cheprone, Elvis Selemba, Viola Tayemba, Julius Sekasi and Julian Nakamya.
The suspects picked up from the second raid at Victoria Pharmacy are Perez Kaluhanga, Rosemary Musabe, Linda Pragia, Martha Mutungi and Esther Kushemererwa. He notes that investigations by the Criminal Investigations Directorates-CID are still ongoing. According to Enanga, the investigations will reveal whether or not the suspects picked from First pharmacy work there or not.
Enanga notes that police have slapped different charges including being in possession of government stores, conspiracy to commit felonies and theft against the suspects. Police indicate that similar operations are still ongoing after discovering that unscrupulous people stole vaccines from the Ministry of Health store and are now busy selling them on the black market to the Public.
More than 50 percent of the 964,000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines donated by Covax Facility and India have already been used. Recently, President Museveni in his televised address said that the government is preparing to get Johnson and Johnson vaccines from the USA and Cuba since India suspended exports. UNICEF announced that another 170,000 doses would be arriving in the country in two weeks.