Uganda paternity testing causes huge controversy

With reports of a sharp increase in the number of men in Uganda seeking paternity tests, fears are growing it could break up families and leave children psychologically scarred.

The issue has been a hot topic of debate in the country since a tabloid newspaper published a story claiming that a well-known business tycoon – who had several wives and mistresses – had a row with one of his spouses, prompting him to request paternity tests that reportedly said he was the biological father of only 15 of his 25 children.

The tycoon and his family have never commented publicly, and the report has not been independently verified.

But the story spread like wildfire and has caused huge controversy over the last few months, prompting some lawmakers to make an emotional appeal to men to stop putting their families and children through the trauma of tests.

“Let’s live like our forefathers lived. The child born in the house is your child,” Minister of Mineral Development Sarah Opendi said in parliament. Although she qualified her statement by adding that if a man wanted a paternity test it should be done when a child is born – not when they are grown up.

Most worryingly, the privately owned Monitor newspaper reported that testing has caused domestic violence, with police arresting an Israeli national living in Uganda for allegedly killing his wife after DNA results showed that he was not the father of their six-month-old child. The man has not yet been charged.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here