Paternity Tests: One in Every 3 Women Exposed as ‘Cheats’

Bulawayo – Roughly one in every three women seeking paternity tests are exposed as cheats, with their results coming out negative.

Seeking to save their marriages, some of the spouses are giving paternity experts a torrid time, attempting to bribe them to alter the results in their favour.

The Applied Genetic testing Centre (AGTC) based at National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Bulawayo has experienced an influx of such cases, according to its director Zephaniah Dhlamini.

“There are some cheating couples who come and make offers to us so that we can manipulate paternity results for their children. There are just too many incidents where individuals try to manipulate the outcome of the tests. But we continuously tell them that it’s impossible,” said Dhlamini.

Dealing a blow to would-be bribers, Dhlamini insisted that as a professional ethics, they would never tamper with DNA test results.
Paternity Test 

“A woman will come and say I know that this child is not fathered by this man, please alter the results because my marriage will collapse. We always tell them that we can’t do that because if someone is querying the paternity of the child, he will seek a second opinion.

“And where does that leave us if we manipulate the results? We can’t afford to do that on professional grounds as well. Even men come and make their own suggestions. People should stop being corrupt.” 

In a high profile case, sungura star Alick Macheso went into a paternity test against his second wife Tafadzwa Mapako, questioned who fathered the two children. DNA paternity tests later confirmed that Macheso as the father, though he refuted the outcome.

DNA paternity testing is the use of DNA profiling (known as genetic fingerprinting) to determine whether two individuals are biologically parent and child. A paternity test establishes genetic proof whether a man is the biological father of an individual, and a maternity test establishes whether a woman is the biological mother of an individual. 

The current techniques for paternity testing are using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). Paternity testing can now also be performed while the woman is still pregnant from a blood draw.

DNA testing is currently the most advanced and accurate technology to determine parentage. In a DNA parentage test, the result (called the 'probability of parentage) [not in citation given] is 0% when the alleged parent is not biologically related to the child and the probability of parentage is typically 99.99% when the alleged parent is biologically related to the child. 

However, while almost all individuals have a single and distinct set of genes, rare individuals, known as "chimeras", have at least two different sets of genes, which can result in a false negative result if their reproductive tissue has a different genetic make-up from the tissue sampled for the test.

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