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DNA tests put Government chemist on the spot

RIFT VALLEY
By Vincent Mabatuk | November 11th 2013

By Vincent Mabatuk

Nakuru, Kenya: The Ministry of Health is on the spot over paternity tests conducted by the Government chemist following allegations some officers are taking bribes to alter DNA results.

Individuals with ongoing and concluded paternity battles in courts want the Government to conduct independent investigations on alleged corrupt senior officers responsible for the confusion.

They accused the ministry of failing to crack the whip on rogue staff over fake and manipulated DNA results supplied to courts to influence the overall outcome.

Speaking in Nakuru, the group led by Gilbert Waiganjo said the outcome of the cases could have far-reaching implications especially to the legal system where many have been convicted on the strength of DNA evidence adduced by the Government chemist.

Last week, a court in Nakuru while delivering a judgement on paternity case said it was dangerous to rely on the DNA results from Government chemist and treat those results as conclusive proof.

“There is a possibility the samples were interfered with since not even the analyst knows their chain of custody from the time they were taken hence the results obtained are erroneous,” ruled Senior Resident Magistrate Judicaste Nthuku.

This was in a case in which Dr John Ndegwa had sought a second DNA test after one conducted by Government analyst Henry Kiptoo Sang ruled that he was a biological father of a girl, 3. A second DNA test, which was done at Lancet Kenya, showed contrary to Dr Sang’s conclusion in the results produced by analyst Eunice Ombati in court.

Beatrice Wanja, the mother of the child, had moved to court and prayed for an order of maintenance claiming the doctor was the father of her child and should take responsibility.

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