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Parliament to enact DNA law

The Parliament of Zimbabwe will begin a process of enacting a law governing the carrying out of DNA tests following revelations the country does not have such legislation in place, National Assembly speaker, Jacob Mudenda, said Tuesday.

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the genetic material one inherits from their mother and father. 

Speaking during the speaker’s stakeholder meeting with members of civic society and the media in Bulawayo, Mudenda said authorities at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) told him there was no law dealing with the conducting of DNA tests.

NUST is one of the centres in the country conducting DNA tests.

“Yesterday (Monday) I was at NUST and they told me there is no law governing the carrying out of DNA tests and that is very true,” said Mudenda. 

“That is very true. How do you test for DNA within the law? Secrecy of the DNA results. How can the university handle that? How are the results published?” 

He said the DNA law was long overdue.

“The law must be there to enunciate such processes,” he stressed. 

“And I agreed with the university and we shall have the process of coming up with that law. So there is NUST there. They didn’t write a petition but by my visit they made an oral petition. But the petitions that we want from civic society must be in writing to propose a new law just like NUST has indicated to me or amend an existing law.”

The speaker went on to emphasize the need for Zimbabweans to develop a culture to petition their Parliament.

“Your right to petition Parliament is in Section 149 of the Constitution,” said Mudenda. 

“What does it say?  It says every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has a right to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority including enactment, amendment or repeal of legislation.”

He however said citizens should not bring petitions on issues before the courts as such would be rejected.

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