DNA: Affected men narrate ordeals

The Internal Affairs ministry last week reported that the number of men undertaking DNA tests to determine paternity of children shot up by 70 percent.  PHOTO / COURTESY

What you need to know:

He said the girl that his wife Patricia Birungi bore during their relationship in 2007 was taken away from his home after 11 years when Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) paternity tests showed that he was not her biological father

Forty-year-old Ibrahim Musisi said he is having suicidal thoughts ever since it was discovered that the first child he thought was his daughter did not belong to him.

 He said the girl that his wife Patricia Birungi bore during their relationship in 2007 was taken away from his home after 11 years when Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) paternity tests showed that he was not her biological father. 

 “I am depressed and sometimes I feel like picking a knife to kill myself. I was expecting much from my only daughter,” he told our reporter on Tuesday.

 The resident of Butebe Village in Mukono Municipality, who is a businessman dealing in shoe making, also said he feels life is meaningless as a result of what happened.

 “I look like a failure in life, I am unsettled and restless, I can’t do much but only work for my stomach and rent,” Mr Musisi narrated.

 “I no longer even have the morale to work just because of my only child. My child is always on my mind, she used to motivate me and also plan for our family, memories are still fresh,” he added.

 Mr Musisi said the DNA paternity test for the girl, who is now 16 years old, was done in 2018 when she was 11 years old.

 He said he feels ostracised by the community and he is struggling to recover from the shock.

 “I call upon civil society organisations (CSOs), and lawyers to help me have a right to access my child though I am not the biological father. I brought her up after the mother (my wife) abandoned her in my hands at two years,” he revealed.

 Mr Musisi explained that he in 2005, he got into a relationship with Ms Birungi, who was in a technical institute by then.

 “She moved to my place and we settled together as wife and husband. In February 2007, she gave birth to Leticia Kiconco and we started raising our child,” he said.

 “When the child made two years, she started developing some characters, becoming quarrelsome. My parents asked me to visit her parents when I told them about my wife’s behaviour,” he added.

 They arranged an introduction and went to Ms Birungi’s parents in 2009 in Kabimbili, Kasawo in Mukono District.

 Mr Musisi said after marriage, his wife advised him to abandon the shoe business because it was shaming her.

 “When I returned to my shoe business, Birungi left home, claiming that she cannot stay with a shoemaker and abandoned the kid at two years. I became both the mother and father, I did not even have a maid to help me out,” he added.

 Mr Musisi is not the only person affected. Mr Saddam Rashid Lukwago, a herbalist, who resides in Wakaliga, Rubaga Division in Kampala, said it turned out that the boy he thought was his biological child and would be his heir was not. 

Mr Lukwago told this publication yesterday that the boy was the firstborn in a relationship with the first woman he had an encounter with, while he was only 17 years old.

 ‘‘So, being my firstborn child and an heir to my wealth, I channelled all my finances to educating this child since I was preparing him to be my heir. I took him to good schools, while his siblings studied in regular schools,’’ Mr Lukwago said.

He explained that his plan to carry out a DNA test on his son came, when his girls (these were other children he had produced with one of his current wives), started complaining that this boy keeps peeping at them while they are bathing and even goes ahead to fondle them.

‘‘When the girls reported that to me, at first I didn’t give it attention and thought they were lying but when they again reported,” he narrated.

 “I decided to do a DNA test in 2017 to find out where this boy gets these behaviours from, and to my dismay, the test showed that we are not related at all, we had nothing in common as per the results,’’ Mr Lukwago elaborated.

He revealed that on the day the results came back and it turned out that his heir is not biologically his, he went into a coma for three days and when he normalised, he decided to let go of everything and treat the child as his own but the boy started stealing from him.

‘‘I was in shock after seeing the results, it was so painful for me and I even regretted why I did a DNA test on him because I had already made plans and said to myself, I already have an heir, I have educated him, and he will be able to take care of the business, and he will take care of me in my old age and also care for his siblings,’’ he explained.