The increasing popularity of DNA tests has generated a mix of excitement and apprehension among Ugandans. While some individuals have embraced the opportunity to verify biological relationships, others have faced emotional distress and financial burdens when test results indicate that their children may not be biologically related to them. This has sparked a debate among locals, with varying opinions on the implications of DNA testing.
Children’s rights activists argue that DNA testing can be an abuse of children’s rights and have long-term negative effects on their well-being. They call for government regulations to ensure the responsible and ethical use of DNA testing.
Busoga Today interviewed several Ugandans to gather their perspectives on DNA testing, uncovering a range of opinions that highlight both the positive and negative aspects of this practice. Esther Ruth Nangobi, a resident of Jinja City’s Wanyange central, sees DNA testing as a means to address marital fidelity and potentially minimize cases of adultery.
“Nurturing and providing for a child is a significant investment of resources and love. It is crucial to ensure a child’s true parentage early on to avoid the pain of discovering this truth at a later stage,” Nangobi explains, emphasizing the importance of identifying one’s biological children.
On the other hand, Nabirah Karungyiye from Namulesa in Jinja expresses concern about wealthy individuals being targeted for financial gain through the manipulation of DNA test results. Despite these concerns, Karungyiye suggests that DNA testing can still be a valuable tool and advises those who prefer not to undergo the test to abstain from it throughout their lives.
Karungyiye also highlights the issue of infidelity and abandonment, stating that women often know the true father of their children but may withhold this information to avoid potential consequences. She urges men to take responsibility for their actions and avoid abandoning their partners for extended periods, as this can contribute to temptations and complicated situations.
Bishop Paul Wandela of Rivers of Faith Ministries in Uganda offers a different perspective, urging Ugandans to distance themselves from DNA testing and instead advocate for child adoption, which he considers a godlier practice. Wandela raises concerns about the accuracy of DNA tests and suggests that the push for DNA testing might be influenced by proponents of same-sex marriages.
Brenda Walusaga, a resident of Kyanvuma town council in Luuka district, voices the difficulties that arise from discovering unfamiliar biological connections after a DNA test. She emphasizes the challenge of starting a new life with individuals who were previously unknown and highlights the potential impact on family dynamics.
It is evident that DNA testing evokes various emotions and perspectives among Ugandans. While some see it as a means to confirm biological relationships and promote transparency, others raise concerns about potential misuse, emotional consequences, and the disruption of traditional family structures. As this debate continues, it is crucial for individuals to make informed decisions based on their personal beliefs, values, and circumstances.
This article is written by Simon Mbago and Nicholas Mwaule