Parliament Calls for Regulatory Framework to Oversee DNA Tests as More Men Seek to Validate Children’s Paternity

The Parliament has taken decisive action by instructing the government to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework to govern and monitor Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) tests within the nation. During the afternoon session on Tuesday, led by Deputy Speaker Mr. Thomas Tayebwa, legislators expressed their concerns over the detrimental impact of these tests on families. Mr. Tayebwa urged government officials to develop appropriate regulations, emphasizing the need to guide the nation amidst the chaos caused by the current state of DNA tests. Attentively listening, fellow legislators supported his call for intervention, highlighting the distressing plight of innocent children who unwittingly suffer the consequences.

These remarks were prompted by the recent surge in demand for DNA tests among men, a fact confirmed by Mr. Simon Mundeyi, spokesperson for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, last month. Mr. Mundeyi acknowledged a staggering 70 percent increase in requests for this service. As a result, Mr. Tayebwa highlighted the suffering endured by men who find themselves embroiled in such situations. He stressed the urgency of implementing regulations to address the issue, noting that while mothers typically know the paternity of their children, men face significant challenges. Mr. Tayebwa expressed his belief that establishing regulations would provide a way forward, emphasizing the importance of taking action rather than allowing the matter to go unresolved.

Taking these concerns into account, Mr. Tayebwa directed the presentation of an official statement on DNA to the House the following week. He declared that the Prime Minister would deliver the statement, allowing for subsequent debate and discussion among members of Parliament.

Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister for Information, Communication Technology (ICT) and National Guidance, affirmed the gravity of the situation, emphasizing the need for immediate attention. Dr. Baryomunsi stated that the matter had reached a critical level, leading to cases of suicide, and thus required urgent resolution. He mentioned ongoing assessments to verify the accreditation status of laboratories conducting DNA tests, as unaccredited facilities might be issuing false results. Dr. Baryomunsi’s concerns were echoed by Ms. Faith Loru Nakut (Napak), who advocated for guidelines and restrictions on DNA tests. She proposed the inclusion of DNA tests on a restricted list, suggesting that they should only be conducted based on court orders or to resolve specific issues. Ms. Nakut stressed the importance of safeguarding the mental well-being of children and preventing suicides among men, while also pointing out the negative impact on the economy. She expressed concern about individuals in Uganda fabricating test results to tarnish women’s reputations and evade responsibility for the care of their children.

Similarly, Mr. Ronald Afidra Olema (Lower Madi County) highlighted the pressing nature of the DNA test issue, revealing instances where women were caring for children who were not biologically related to them. He emphasized the need for Parliament to provide guidance to the nation regarding this matter.

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