Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
CHEATING spouses are reportedly approaching the Applied Genetic Testing Centre (AGTC) at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo intending to bribe officials to manipulate their children’s paternity results to save their marriages.
In an interview yesterday, AGTC director Mr Zephaniah Dhlamini revealed that approximately one in every three cases that they deal with comes out negative exposing some women as cheats.
He said the institution is forced to threaten some parents that they would be reported to the police for seeking to bribe officials to alter lab results.
Mr Dhlamini said they would never tamper with DNA test results.
Paternity tests are used to confirm a child’s biological father.
“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 Mr Dhlamini.
He said the institution adheres to the highest levels of professionalism and would not entertain any attempt to manipulate results.
Mr Dhlamini said they have dealt with women who openly confess that if authentic results of their paternity tests come out, their marriages would collapse.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Mr Dhlamini also dismissed a case where a Bulawayo woman last week told the Bulawayo Maintenance Court that she did not want the AGTC to conduct paternity tests for her child as her ex-boyfriend was well known at Nust.
The woman’s story was published in The Chronicle on Saturday.
Nyamadzawo Mutema told the court that he was applying for paternity tests as he was doubtful that he fathered Ms Fortunate Marunya’s child. When the two were referred to the AGTC, the woman said she does not want paternity tests there because she is afraid the results may be tampered with as her ex-boyfriend knows some people there.
Mr Dhlamini said professional standards are followed at the institution and Ms Marunya ended up coming to their centre for tests.
He said both the woman and her ex-lover are former Nust students.