Gone are the days when a most senior relative in a family was consulted to look at the physical features like fingers, head shape, feet, eyes, nose and even hair to confirm that a contested child was indeed or not part of the family.
Rwanda government has improvised a more accurate and scientific method of determining paternity of a child or anyone who has lived in a dillema of accepting or confirming their biological roots.
More still, court cases especially rape,defilement, murder, robbery and crime scene management had to suffer delays because of lack of capacity for testing, analysis and interpretation – samples had to be sent abroad or expensive foreign experts were hired.
All these will now be conducted locally and at an affordable fee.
The recently unveiled Rwanda Forensic Laboratory (RFL) has published a detailed Tariff for various services it will offer to the general public.
For example, when someone applies for Paternity testing, the laboratory provides two options for this service; both Express and non-Express testing.
The Express testing costs Rwf427,998 and three samples are taken from the specimen.
The non-Express testing only requires Rwf267,032 and also three samples are drawn from specimen.
For those seeking DNA tests , the Laboratory offers two options including the Presumptive test and confirmatory test.
This means that if the laboratory has blood sample that will be used as sample for DNA testing, the client will have to pay Rwf100,000 for Presumptive and Confirmatory test.
Other samples also that can be used at this laboratory for DNA testing include; Saliva and Semen (and each sample testing costs Rwf100,000)
In a situation of a rape case; the court may request for the testing of semen that may have been found at the scene of crime – the cost for testing this semen sample is Rwf100000.
The latest Tariff indicates that the Rwanda Forensic Laboratory will conduct tests including; DNA, Drugs, Biological sample for Toxicology, Chemistry, Questioned Documents, Fingerprints, Ballistics, Digital tests, Microbiology and Forensic Medicine examinations.