70pc men duped on child support: Tests

Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
DNA tests carried out on men who challenged paternity at the Harare Magistrates’ Civil Court last year reveal that 70 percent of them were raising children that were not theirs.The tests proved that nearly three-quarters of men who challenged paternity of the children they were maintaining won their cases.

Statistics from the court show that 11 men proved that women had framed them and forced them to pay maintenance for children they had not fathered.

Only five tests confirmed the men as the real fathers of the children. Upon announcement of the negative DNA results, the maintenance court immediately cancels orders that compelled the men to support the children.

In 2011, 67 percent of men who challenged paternity through DNA tests at the Harare Magistrates’ Civil Court won their cases, with six out of nine men being discharged from paying monthly maintenance.

Only three men in 2011 were confirmed to be the fathers of the children they were maintaining after their blood samples were taken for DNA testing at Unistel Medical Laboratories in South Africa.

DNA paternity tests are conducted in cases where a man doubts having fathered a child. From last year to date, the Harare Magistrates’ Civil Court has received up to 50 maintenance claims daily, an indication that unprotected sex and divorce cases are on the increase.

Financially stable men fall prey to cheats who shun irresponsible biological fathers. Among the financially stable men who fell prey to cheats was prominent businessman Mr Genius Kadungure who maintained somebody’s child for 11 years.

DNA paternity tests results that were announced in court on December 10 last year marked the end of his troubles.
“My friend it is not easy to support a child belonging to another man for 11 years.  At first I decided to support the child after a lot of pressure from the woman.

“Being a public figure, I had to avoid trouble by paying the demanded money but my sixth sense would tell me that I was not responsible,” he said.

Mrs Dorreen Mutukwa demanded US$1 500 as monthly maintenance and the matter spilled into court. The court provisionally granted US$250 maintenance, which he paid from September last year pending the outcome of the DNA test results.

In another interesting case in which a woman was claiming maintenance for two children, the husband successfully applied for DNA paternity testing and he tested positive in respect of one child while paternity remained doubtful in respect of the second one as the result was 90 percent.

Laboratory experts who conducted the tests suggested that it was either that the man or a close relative of his could be responsible for the child.

“ . . . if mutation frequency is considered, the chance of paternity is 99,910934 percent. If close relatives are also possible candidates, he or they should be tested. If not, paternity is confirmed with a high degree of certainty,” the experts say.

Most men fail to undergo the tests due to their cost. Last year, 96 men applied to undergo DNA paternity tests, but nearly 50 abandoned their challenges after failing to raise the required fees.

It costs between US$470 and US$520 to test a man, woman and one child. In a maintenance application, the onus is on the man to prove he is not the father through DNA paternity tests.

If the man contests paternity, he is given up to six months to undergo testing. During that period he is ordered to pay interim monthly maintenance until the results are out.

The court refers the parties to the National Blood Transfusion Services of Zimbabwe (NBTSZ) where blood samples are taken and sent to a South African laboratory.

Results are expected after between 10 and 15 days. The results are sent back to NBTSZ, which then forwards them to the court. The court then calls the parties and announces the results.

When a man wins his case, he then applies for discharge from paying maintenance and can subsequently claim back all the money he had paid from the woman.

In the event that the woman fails to pay back, a court order may be obtained to attach property or to commit her to prison.
When the paternity is confirmed (positive results), the woman can then apply for upward variation from the interim maintenance that was being paid.

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  • Facebook

    Plz make it a criminal charge to such women who go to courts claiming fasehoods in tears yet in their hearts they know they are bitches, liars and cheats.
    This is tantamount to fraud and theft deserving imprisonment.
    Before each case opens the woman should be asked degree of certainity, prbable or definite.
    If she claims definite and the tests are negative she should go to prison.
    Zvinorwadza mhan kuchengeta mwana wehure and should train our daughters to keep their legs closed.

    • inini

      well keep your doughters out of facebook and teach them that sex before marriage is a sin and it only leads to problems and dont let them be raised by TV all they learn from dstv is immorality is ok and has no consequences

    • ma

      Agreed baba. but i think the state should institute mechanisms to ensure that that such tests are done for every maintenance case before the passage of the verdict. The person claiming maintenance should meet the test costs.

  • Baroka

    Zimbabwean law is very segregative and criminally gender biased towards women and *** .
    It gives any woman the right to point to any man in the street and claim maitenance up and until the man proves otherwise.
    Reality and common sense shows us it is the woman who truly knows the rightful father and also proves the fact that sleeping with a woman does not make you the father.
    Now many man because of fear of embarassment, court threats and police shoving simply choose to accept responsibility yet in reality dont know the truth the child partenity.
    In future make it mandatory that the complainant woman first foots and request a mandatory paternity test first before each maintenance case.
    The complainant woman should fully foot the partenity test bill up and until it is proven the accused and ‘refusing’ man is responsible.
    With that we will stop the trial and error claims that most women are doing.

    • nze

      Well said.. I even went through that with one criminal.

    • george

      The law is fair in the way it treats these matters. The law gives the responsibility of maintaining a child to BOTH partners. The woman maintains a child by default but the man has to be called in by the law. If you sleep with a woman and you are the probable father of a child, it’s noone’s fault that it can’t be proved sometimes. You have to take the responsibility if you can’t prove it’s not your child. It’s not one sided because the woman is also taking care of the child. And sometimes she too doesn’t know the father of the child. Both partners should be responsible for their reckless sex. It’s unfair to punish a woman who losses a paternity test unless it can be reasonably proved she was lying. The court has to look at each case separately.

  • pondo

    Make aids testing compulsory for both parties as they’ve proved to be promiscuous. This could be an opportunity for aids charities to subsidies partenitt testing but on condition ajds testing is done.

    • blaz vaFarai

      zvautori mugwere nhaiwe, tikwanire hedu apo. nxaa

  • Mai Farai

    Muchinyanya varume….. Mviro mviro of sleeping around without protection. Hamufanire kunzwira tsitsi. Ndiwe wakazvitsvagira wega……

    • Baba Farai

      Varume ava havana kurara nevamwe varume asi kuti nevakadzi. So why blame men only?

      • blaz vaFarai

        SAKA VANOFANIRA KUTI VAKUVARE NENYAYA YEKUDA KUNGORARARARA IYOYO

  • rukudzo

    I see a business opportunity here. If one invested in a laboratory that provides DNA testing, I am sure more men would come forward.

  • Jotham

    Paternity tests are very costly , only the rich guys can afford them. Tisina tofahedu takadaro.

  • JUSTICE PLIZ

    It’s very unfortunate that whilst women bleat about equal rights, our laws still seem to treat them with kid gloves!! Why is it that a woman can accuse a man of raping her, and if convicted, the man faces a mandatory jail sentence; but when it turns out that the rape allegation was false all that a woman gets is slap on the wrist [community service]?!

    • tomre

      its not new that our laws these daes have become discriminatory and suppressive towards men under pretence of equality.

  • Duped

    70% men duped, thats a very high number but when you consider that they are only 11, it loses its significance. I think reporters should learn to avoid headlines which could lead to unnecessary alarm

    • tomre

      Is the statistics a lie?Its you who should stop attaching non-statistical values to pure and proven statistical facts.if u dont andastand it-enda kuchikoro paunodzoka unenge waakunzwisisa.