DEMANDS PUBLIC APOLOGY

Sputnik importer threatens to sue Nation Media for fraud story

Dinlas Pharma EPZ Limited imported thousands of Covid-19 vaccine

In Summary

• Dinlas Pharma EPZ Limited accused the newspaper of publishing a 'false' article on April 2 that accused it of being corrupt and intending to defraud Kenyans.

• In a letter to the daily, the company's advocates, led by Donald Kipkorir, said the importer received approval for distribution of the vaccine from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.

The Sputnik V vaccine produced by Russia.
The Sputnik V vaccine produced by Russia.

A pharmaceutical firm has demanded a public apology from Nation Media Group for alleged defamation over an article linking it with corruption in the health sector.

Dinlas Pharma EPZ Limited accused the newspaper of publishing a false article on April 2 that said it is corrupt and intended to defraud Kenyans.

The company imported thousands of Russia's Sputnik vaccine for Covid-19. The vaccine was already in use before it was banned by the Ministry of Health.

In a letter to the daily, the company's advocates, led by Donald Kipkorir, said the importer received approval for distribution of the vaccine from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board although it had yet to be cleared by the WHO.

The advocates claimed the article linking the pharmaceutical company with illegal activities such as the Kemsa scandal was out of "malevolence and spite" towards it.

"The publication was intended and calculated to damage the reputation of our client to the advantage of other companies of businesses known to yourselves," the letter reads.

The story published by Nation narrated how "ghost of Covid millionaires" were involved in the importation of the vaccine. It said at least 75,000 doses of the Sputnik vaccine were shipped into the country and cleared for use.

The Syokimau-based importer has given NMG two days to retract the article as well as publish an equivocal apology, failing which it will proceed with legal action.

According to the letter, a suit will be filed either in Viz, Moscow, Dubai, Nairobi or London, as importation contracts were executed in Russia, Dubai and Kenya.