THE majority of women in Zimbabwe lie about the paternity of their children if DNA results are anything to go by.
As many as 70 percent of men in the country are probably not the biological fathers of children they thought were their blood.
Global DNA Zimbabwe have released testing results for the last 16 months and most of the results were negative.
Global DNA principal consultant Tinashe Mugabe confirmed the revelations and says as many as 60 couples come for testing every month nationwide with the majority testing negative.
Of the people that went for DNA tests in January this year for example, 84 percent of the men proved not to be the fathers of the children involved.
“The majority of people are living in the dark. They don’t know if they are truly the fathers. Some people just have an attitude that they just don’t want to have a test but truth be told, the mother has already told the real father about the child and by not wanting to take responsibility they will leave that other man to take care of the child, paying for school and maybe university. Imagine after university he comes and says the child is his, the disappointment, the pain,” he said.
H-Metro posed questions to Global DNA over the startling revelations and below are their answers.
On average what was the percentage of men who were cleared by the DNA paternity test?
We get a range is 60-75 percent of results coming negative every year. These are realistic records of what we encountered.
Why should one go for the test?
“It’s important to be sure of the paternity, are you really the father of the child? That is important, if the child is yours or you are doubting there are consequences that follow. One will not be attached to the child because you are doubting. You will not commit to the child’s daily needs and may not send them to a good school,” he said.
“Genetics also cause people to have a negative attitude to a child. You are light in complexion and the child is dark and by that you will have negative attitude towards the child. People should have DNA profiles just like having a national ID and if it’s possible at birth.”
Who mainly come for DNA, the married, divorced or separated?
The Majority are the people who are married. Some of them were once married and had squabbles in their marriage and in a state of separation and the question comes in of the paternity. So whether married or separated whenever the question of paternity arises they come for tests. We also have cases of those who will be going for maintenance cases and not in any way in agreement. These are coming regularly for tests.
We have another scenario where the married mothers who are not sure of the paternity of the child are coming to verify if the father in the house is the real father. We do what is called a discrete DNA test where they bring the father’s finger nails, hair with roots or socks just to verify for a peace of mind.
There are more negative results in January as compared to other months, what could be the explanation?
There is no logical explanation actually, people, children are born in different months so maybe the highest number came that month.
What pushes people to go for DNA?
The question about paternity, the question of responsibility of the child, the question of wanting to know whether he is the real father and how to commit and take full responsibility for the child.
“The events that happen before a child’s birth such as promiscuity, cheating, or one gets suspicious messages you don’t understand, these drive people to go for tests. When we interview them, they point to elements of mistrust, cheating or promiscuity.
“Others emanate from issues of maintenance, but issues of promiscuity and mistrust are dominant.
Who mainly push for DNA?
The majority are the men pushing for the test and women to a lesser extent. Women push when the father is denying paternity and or running away from responsibility and they would want to prove that he is the father. Even when they want to prove to him and or his relatives that she never did anything with another men but mostly, it is the men who push for a test.
Looking at the rate of results coming negative, why are women lying?
The main reason why women are not truthful is because of their inability to take care of the child and at the end of the day they don’t look for the biological father of the child but a man who is potentially able to care of the child, someone who is financially stable, runs his business or earns enough. Women usually use that as a threat, if you don’t take care of this child, I will tell your wife or expose you.
There are other cases which are prevalent, the cases of incest which would have taken place and the mother will keep that child and blame an outsider whom she once had intercourse with to protect incest with a close relative.
When the child comes it does not go to the biological father but an outsider.
How many cases do you get a month?
We do approximately 50 to 60 cases per month.
Do people come as couples?
Majority of the cases they come as couples but at times you will see the mother walking in or the father and child walking in, for the discrete test.
How do people react when they get the result?
There is great joy and disappointments that happens. If the father really wants the child and is told the child is his, there is great joy but when he is told the child is not his, there is great disappointment which calls for readjustment in terms of attachment to the child. Must I continue taking care of the child? The father may realise both children are not his and he will be like am I able to have kids or not, those are some of things they face. The reactions are emotional. Some would have really been convinced by events that would have happened earlier and just come for confirmation. They will say I saw this coming because of the things that would have happened before child’s birth.
Some come for keeping a record of paternity for inheritance purposes and give the record to their lawyers. To say in the future, if anything happens my children are protected.
How do you handle people after the results?
We have a way of handling such cases. Before we present the results we get to the background of what would have happened before. After asking the background, the seriousness of the issue give us the way to go. We give pre – counselling and prepare them for the result and after the results we give post counselling on how to adjust.
The results are national, the sample is representative of the whole nation. We have centres countrywide Harare, Masvingo, Marondera, Bindura and many other places.