A NYANGA traditional healer is reportedly conducting spiritual “DNA tests” which are threatening to tear families apart, with some men denying paternity for their children.
This emerged at Acting Chief Saunyama’s court last Friday when a villager, Mr Lovemore Mandipaza, was dragged to the traditional court by his estranged lover, Ms Mellisa Phiri, who wanted him to contribute towards the upkeep of their child.
Ms Phiri accused Mr Mandipaza of neglecting his eight-month-old baby following a visit to a traditional healer who told him that he was not the child’s biological father.
Ms Phiri said her lover bowed down to pressure from his wife and consulted the unnamed Nyanga traditional healer to confirm the paternity of the child.
“His wife was always on my case doubting the paternity of the child. Deep down in his heart, Lovemore knows that the baby is his.
“He even named the child after himself as he is his only son. He has four daughters with his wife.
“She managed to convince him to seek the services of the traditional healer who told him that his ancestors were not happy that he was deserting his family and taking care of another man’s child.
“He supported me during my pregnancy and the first few months of the child’s birth. However, after the visit to the traditional healer, he disowned the child and has stopped discussing marriage. He had promised to marry me,” said Phiri.
She said when she entered into a relationship with Mr Mandipaza, she knew that he was married.
She however, claimed that Mr Mandipaza had sweet-talked her with marriage promises.
“I knew that he had a wife, but he promised to marry me as well. He said he loved me. Lovemore told me that I was special, but changed goalposts after consulting the traditional healer. It hurts me that he undertook a spiritual DNA test just to disown his own son,” lamented Ms Phiri.
Ms Phiri’s mother, Ms Kerina Samupanga, confirmed her daughter’s narration.
“My daughter lived with Mandipaza for over a year and they had a blissful life. However, on December 23 last year, he came and dumped her at my home claiming that he had found out that the child was not his.
“I asked whether they had gone for DNA tests and he said his actions were being motivated by what the traditional healer had told him. He reiterated claims that his ancestors were not happy with him for taking care of another man’s child,” said Ms Samupanga.
Mr Mandipaza did not attend the court hearing.
Acting Chief Saunyama referred the case to the Nyanga Civil Court.
“This is a maintenance case and the civil court should deal with it. He should help look after his child and the only DNA test results accepted by the courts are scientifically proven ones, not prophetic ones or those from traditional healers. Until the scientific DNA tests are done, Mr Mandipaza should take care of his child,” said Acting Chief Saunyama.
He, however, ordered Mr Mandipaza to give four cattle and two goats to Ms Phiri’s parents as a token of appreciation (chiredzwa) for the eight-month-old baby.
“Since there are no scientific proven DNA results available, we are assuming that this child is his. After all, he had promised to pay your lobola, so it should not be a problem with him,” ruled Acting Chief Saunyama.