AIBST brings forensic science and DNA testing to Zimbabwe

A computer model of DNA.
A computer model of DNA.

A Harare based company, African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology (AIBST), recently successfully registered their DNA testing centre with the Medical Laboratory and Clinic Scientist Council of Zimbabwe. This means now DNA tests can be done locally instead of having to rely and outsource to South African companies as has been the case for a while now. AIBST is a non-government and non-profit education and research institution that was founded in 2002 with the express intent “to strengthen Africa’s scientific and technical capacity to contribute to healthcare solutions to its people.”


Most “local” DNA companies collect DNA samples from clients and have them sent to South African laboratories but according reports in the local press made by AIBST’s chief scientist and president, Professor Collen Masimirembwa, the company does all the testing here locally. It seems the company acquired all the necessary DNA equipment and accreditation sometime last year.

They have been doing DNA testing since then and were involved in identifying the victims of the Chisumbanje accident victims. In October last year a T35 truck carrying mourners collided with an ethanol tanker resulting in 24 fatalities 17 of whom were burned beyond recognition. 13 of the later could only be positively identified using DNA testing, something that could not be done by any other means since the victims had no Dental Records on file. This is just one example of the usefulness of DNA testing, we have already written extensively on the need and importance of DNA for our country.


There is no cost respite however for those looking to use the facility. Having AIBST handle a case for you will cost $500 which is about $100 more compared to what some outsourcing companies are charging. The advantage here however is that you get to consult the experts involved in your case in person and interact with them as opposed to receiving a terse report in an envelope. Hopefully the cost will fall as more facilities open.

According to Prof. Masimirembwa the company has also been involved in a lot of personal cases usually from private individuals who want to be tested on their own initiative. The company is yet to break onto the Court scene but this is likely to change as more and more people become aware of its existence. The company’s laboritories are also involved in other medical research projects such as the Human Genome Project and Pharmacology.

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20 thoughts on “AIBST brings forensic science and DNA testing to Zimbabwe

  1. this is great. been following these guys for some time now and finally are recognised. what they should aim at is creation of a national DNA database to help police more in forensic investigations and to identify the parents of the street kids and abondoned babies. they should force the state to make it compulsory for everyone to submit a DNA sample when u get your I.D at the age of 16. im just appalled at the lack of respect of life and eroding society. i was taught that we take care of our own nomatter your status in ur finances (except in criminal cases)

    1. What a very clever suggestion you have. To force EVERYONE to submit DNA samples is a breach of personal privacy. You think the life is a CSI investigation series? Do your research first before blurting out your “awesome idea”

  2. how much does it cost to hv a dna test for me my son and the father.the problem is the father is denying that the child is not in bulawayo.

  3. I want your Address in harare, so that I will come and visit your biomedical clinic.I have got a very big issue which needs your Attention can you also give me your phone number so that I can contact you

  4. thank you so much for this facility in Zimbabwe. give me details of hours of operations. how much is the cost of checking DNA of my son?

  5. Relieved now just the service provider i was looking for. Please may i have your location,days and hours of operations.Thank you very much

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