The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) will recruit 638 youth from Kigezi, Ankole and Ruwenzori sub regions in the exercise that kicked off yesterday in Kabale.
UPDF 2nd Division spokesperson Robert Kamara told said they will recruit 580 youth under the general category and select 58 others to train as cadet officers.
He said the recruitment is to update the force’s numerical strength. Last year skilled and semi-skilled youth turned up in thousands at recruitment venues in the region but majority did not get opportunity due to limited slots. “We have slightly more than 600 slots for the western region. The recruitment is meant to replenish our numbers and provide job opportunities,” Capt. Kamara said. The number of recruits from each district will be determined by its population.
Critics have in the past accused those who manage the recruitment exercise of bending the rules to accommodate youth who are “well connected” even when they do not qualify. However, Capt. Kamara said eligibility will be hinged on academic qualification and discipline. The 2nd Division Operations and Training Officer, Col. Godfrey Golooba, is overseeing the exercise.
The exercise earlier planned to begin last Wednesday was postponed after petitions from the public that more time be given to enable youth prepare their academic documents and other requirements. He said all candidates must be Ugandans aged between 18 and 25 years and must have been recommended by Gombolola Internal Security Officer (GISO) and an area chairperson.
Cadet course candidates must have a qualification of A-Level and above, while the others must have a minimum of O-Level qualification.