Members of Parliament have expressed their support to the motion which seeks to make it compulsory for a child to undergo paternity test at birth.
This comes after Kgosi Oscar Mosielele of Moshupa region tabled a motion at Ntlo Ya Dikgosi requesting government to formulate a policy that will make it compulsory for paternity testS to be run on every child at birth to avoid the frequent court cases over paternity.
Although the controversial motion was deferred this week for time to find the right Ministry for the issue, it is expected that once done it will be tabled before Parliament for debate and possible approval.
Member of Parliament for Palapye Onneetse Ramogapi promised to support the motion in Parliament, saying that the motion is long overdue as children deserve to know their biological fathers.
Ramogapi said once adopted, this will reduce the amount of family infighting.
“The motion is long overdue because I have had such incidents in my constituency and I have had the privilege of going through some confidential information where in most cases it involved people in extra marital affairs. I can confidently tell you that I will support the motion once it reaches the Parliament floor,” said Ramogapi.
He also said paternity tests which are often conducted midway through when the child has grown up tend to affect the psychological wellbeing of the child, saying that it is advisable to be done at their infant stage.
For his part Member of Parliament for Takatokwane constituency Friction Leuwe said although he intends to establish the motive behind the motion, it has come at an opportune time when there is a disturbing high number of cases of where the supposed father is seeking a paternity test to ascertain the accusations.
“Such a policy will come handy for those without the financial muscle to conduct their own paternity test at private medical facilities,” said Leuwe.
He stated that strides have previously been made in ensuring that father’s names are written in their children’s birth certificates.
On the other hand, Member of Parliament for Jwaneng-Mabutsane Mephato Reatile also pledged his support for the motion indicating that this will reduce the amount of lawsuits between women and men.
“We have had incidents where men have gone out to sue women after discovering that the child they had been raising is not theirs, so this on the other hand will also promote faithfulness in intimate relationships,” said Reatile.
A DNA paternity test in Botswana comes at a hefty cost of approximately P3, 500 for the child and the man and the woman involved. The results normally come after 10 working days.