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Claim that 70% of men in Zimbabwe are 'raising someone else's kids' is false

Do 70% of men in Zimbabwe raise or financially support children they have not fathered. This is the claim made this week by a Zimbabwean tabloid, Zim Daily, and repeated by the State-run Herald newspaper.

“70% of Zim men raising someone else (sic) kids,” read the headline in Zim Daily. “70pc men duped on child support: Tests,” claimed The Herald.

But if you read further, the two articles - which are virtually word-for-word copies, albeit published under different headlines with different bylines - make it clear that the 70% figure refers to just a dozen cases resolved in the Harare  Magistrates’ Civil Court in 2013.  This is a fraction of the 50 maintenance claims that are reportedly lodged with the court each day.

According to the articles, 16 men challenged paternity claims and applied for DNA tests in 2013. In eleven cases - or about 70% of the 16 - DNA tests revealed that the men were not the fathers of the children they were supporting.

The headlines in both The Herald and Zim Daily are grossly misleading and falsely create the impression that 70% of all men in Zimbabwe are “raising someone else’s kids” - Africa Check 09/01/13.

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