The Observer (Kampala)

19 January 2014

Uganda: Bitama's Siblings for DNA Test

In life, he was an actor, bringing out the dramatic, in other people's life. But in death, Paddy Ssali Kasozi Bitama, has caused more heartbreak than he could have envisaged, with the drama that has followed his planned funeral.

Over a week after he died, police only discovered, through a DNA test, that Peter Njegula is his rightful biological father, a matter that has left his family in a fix. It had been thought that Sam Tamale Ssali, now deceased, was the rightful father, as he had raised the children, and lived with the mother, for some time.

Keen to determine the paternity of his five siblings, the police have offered free DNA tests for each of them, as two men, initially came forward to claim that they fathered Paddy and some of the others.

Kampala Metropolitan spokesman Ibin Senkumbi broke the news last Saturday, which left some in the family alarmed.

"Since the results shocked Bitama's elder brother Richard Ssali and proved them wrong ... he has asked police to test his other five siblings for DNA," Senkumbi said.

The five will now be required to offer body samples to senior police pathologist, Dr Moses Byaruhanga, on Monday (today) for the tests to proceed. Senkumbi explained that the DNA test had been carried out in Kampala and the results were only taken to a Nairobi hospital for confirmation.

Senkumbi said the police had intervened on January 13 to stop the two families rowing over the burial. Bitama, succumbed to cancer on January 11, was due to be buried on Sunday in Magere, along Gayaza road, with police providing security during the ceremony.

Police advised parents to test their offspring to guard against the growing practice of peddling children between rival families.

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