The phrase “Wonders shall never end” has never made more sense than it did yesterday, the 18th of August, 2020 when Ugandans were treated to shocking news from the United States Department of The Treasury that two senior Judges from Uganda would face financial and Visa Restrictions as some of their penalties for their involvement in a false adoption scam.
The accused are Hon. Justice Moses Mukiibi, Justice Wilson Musalu Musene, Lawyer Dorah Mirembe and her husband Patrick Ecobu.
It is the United States’ allegation that these through acts orchestrated by Lawyer Dorah Mirembe and her husband Patrick Ecobu, young children in Uganda were removed from their mostly illiterate parents under promises of special education programs and study in the United states under the care of Missionaries.
The adoption agency organizing the scheme used Mirembe’s law firm to handle the legal aspects of the adoptions, in some cases through the manipulation or falsification of court documents. The technicalities of the scheme would then be handled by intermediaries or even directly by this law firm. Eventually, Ugandan parents would hand over their children to an unlicensed children’s home in Kampala until they are adopted by unsuspecting US families.
“Deceiving innocent Ugandan families into giving up their children for adoption has caused great suffering,” .said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Justin G. Muzinich
Under the Children Act Cap. 59 of Uganda (As amended), an application for adoption shall not be considered unless the applicant has fostered the child for a period of not less than twelve months under the supervision of a probation and social welfare officer who later on submits a report to assist Court in considering this application amonsgt other prerequisites.
However, to beat all these legalities, it is alleged that Mirembe, with the assistance of Ecobu, facilitated multiple bribes to Ugandan judges Mukiibi, Musene, and other Ugandan government officials, either directly or through an interlocutor to “Quicken the process”. These Judges would finally grant these adoption petitions.
As a consequence of their actions, the accused persons now face financial restrictions that involve the reporting and blocking of all property and interests in property of the individuals named, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons. In addition to this, the accused persons shall face Visa restrictions in line with US laws.
By the time this article was published, the Judiciary had not issued any statement in regards to these allegations.