The MPs raised this concern on Monday, August 03, 2020 while a plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies endorsed a report by the parliamentary standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security on tours they made in some districts of the country to assess some activities of security organs.
Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) tests have the purpose of confirming a relationship between individual, proving if there is a biological link between them or, in other
cases, such as criminal investigation to identify culprits, among other uses.
The National Forensic Laboratory carries out DNA tests at the cost of Rwf270,000 (each), while if the procedures were done in foreign countries, like Germany this price would be nearly half what it would cost.
MP Frank Habineza said that the majority of those in need of DNA tests are discouraged by the cost.
“The majority of those seeking services from the National Forensic Laboratory are continuously complaining about the issue of high cost of DNA tests; which is an obstacle for many people who want that service,” he said.
MP Iphigenie Mukandera, the vice chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security, said that though the prices are high compared to the financial means of some Rwandans, they are reasonable if compared to the price of the equipment used at the laboratory.
“The equipment used at the laboratory is expensive, marking it difficult to extend services to different parts of the country. However, people who seek DNA test services get them,” she said.
Meanwhile, she said, the existence of the laboratory in Rwanda reduced the time and money it took to get DNA test results compared to when the service was sought abroad.
Some MPs argued that lack of DNA testing facilities in parts of the country other than Kigali, is a challenge.
The Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security, said that the National Forensic Laboratory has conducted more than 8,000 DNA tests so far.
MP Marie Therese Nirere said that if there were other branches in different parts of the country, the number of samples could increase.
“I think that distance also matters in terms of access to service. A person from Rusizi District or upcountry areas finds it difficult to get services in Kigali, and might demotivate them,” she said.