US missionary accused over Uganda child deaths settles out of court

US Missionary Renee Bach

The US Missionary Renee Bach
accused over Uganda child deaths settles out of court

Lawyers for US missionary Renee Bach have reached an out of court settlement with two mothers whose children died after being treated at a centre she ran in Uganda.

Without admitting liability, Renee Bach US missionary Renee Bach and the organisation she founded, Serving His Children (SHC), have agreed to pay Zubeda Gimbo and Annet Kakai UGX 35,000,000 each (£7,335), according to a judgment on Tuesday.

Gimbo’s three-year-old son and Kakai’s one-year-old son died after receiving care at SHC, a nutrition centre in Jinja, east Uganda, which was founded by Renee Bach.

The US missionary Renee Bach has been accused of taking part in medical interventions with children, including blood transfusions, despite having no medical qualifications as either a doctor or a nurse. At least 105 children died at the centre over several years.

SHC and and Bach’s lawyer, David Gibbs, have vigorously defended Bach’s work.

In a statement last year, SHC denied that Bach passed herself off as a doctor, but admitted she regularly assisted in “crisis situations” using “skills” learned from Ugandan healthcare professionals.

As well as the payout, both parties “mutually agree not to pursue legal action against each other and fully release any and all claims that might exist”.

Gimbo told the Guardian: “I feel a sense of justice.”

Kakai said that the process has been “heavy” on her, but that today she feels “so much lighter”. She said that although the judgment cannot bring her child back, she “wanted the world to know what happened”, and that this has now been achieved “even for those families who were not able to speak out”.

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Elizabeth Achola, a legal officer at the Women’s Probono Initiative, which represented the women, said that while the case had been a struggle she was “happy that the parties have managed to settle this dispute very amicably”.

“I believe if the case had gone any further it would have continued to cause pain and emotional turmoil to the mothers,” added Achola, who said she hopes the settlement will give the families involved some closure. “Hopefully they can go on with their lives knowing that they did their best to get justice for their late children, as well as for themselves for all the psychological pain and torture they went through.”

Gibbs, Bach’s lawyer in the US, told the Guardian: “The litigation in Uganda has been resolved by mutual agreement,” adding that that there are no other pending legal matters in Uganda for Renee Bach or SHC. The US missionary Renee Bach announced earlier this month that SHC was being dissolved.

However, it has emerged that four more families are considering taking action against Bach over the treatment of children at the centre.

Kampala-based advocacy organisation No White Saviors said it had raised $16,000 (£12,400) to pay legal fees for the families

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