DNA test reunites mother and daughter 30 years later

Jacqueline Murungi, 30, a resident of Biryogo, in Nyarugenge district, could not contain her joy after a DNA test confirmed that she had found her biological mother whose identity she had not known all her life. It was on a visit to Uganda, her birth place that Murungi read in one of the local tabloids of Hadijah Ssebi, a 52 year- old mother trying to locate a daughter.
REUNITED: Jacqueline Murungi(L) with her mother Hadijah Ssebi yesterday (Photo/ J. Mbanda)
REUNITED: Jacqueline Murungi(L) with her mother Hadijah Ssebi yesterday (Photo/ J. Mbanda)

Jacqueline Murungi, 30, a resident of Biryogo, in Nyarugenge district, could not contain her joy after a DNA test confirmed that she had found her biological mother whose identity she had not known all her life.

It was on a visit to Uganda, her birth place that Murungi read in one of the local tabloids of Hadijah Ssebi, a 52 year- old mother trying to locate a daughter.

On meeting her mother, despite their striking resemblance, Murungi was still suspicious and unconvinced of the connection.

“I thought they were the usual lies and that it was a plan to extract money from me,” she said.

As they continued to acquaint with each other, Murungi opted for a DNA test to erase her suspicion.

“I cut her nail without her knowledge and sent it to South Africa for a DNA test,” said Murungi, who was raised by her paternal grandmother, a Rwandan.

At the time of separation, Murungi was eight months old and she was later told by relatives that her mother was dead.

“I grew up knowing that my mother was dead. I still think it is a dream,” Murungi told The New Times yesterday as she choked on tears.

Ssebi, a Ugandan and soldier during the regime of former President Idi Amin, said she was coerced to leave her child behind in 1979 when the then government was overthrown.

“I left the child behind when I was fleeing. It was 1979, in Idi Amin’s regime. I fled to Sudan and left her with the father,” Ssebi said.

Murungi, currently the president of Nyamirambo Women’s Centre, a local NGO aimed at empowering women, lived with her Rwandan father until he handed her over to her grandmother.

With proof at hand Murungi threw a party to celebrate their reunion at her residence in the presence of friends.

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