Nebbi youth accuse UPDF of unfairness in military recruitment

Candidates for military recruitment go through an exercise test in Nebbi District on June 23, 2022. PHOTO/PATRICK OKABA

What you need to know:

  • Hundreds of jobless Ugandan youths have been rejected in the army’s latest attempt to recruit at least 10,000 soldiers.


Youths and district leaders have accused Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) of unfairness in recruitment.

The youths made unverified claims that “irregularities were cited when some of the youths recruited to the army were neither locals of Nebbi, Zombo or Pakwach districts.”

One of the youths, Mr Isaac Iwutung, expressed frustration after he traveled about 80 kilometers to Nebbi Town from Alangi in Zombo District hoping to be admitted in the army “having met all requirements.”

“We have seen openly that there's corruption in all the sectors. If the recruitment opportunities that were meant for greater Nebbi youths are hijacked by other people and yet there are a number of educated youths on streets crying for employment, then such recruitments should not be done,” he told this publication on June 23.

According to him, recruitment was based on what he described as connections.

“There were applicants who were smuggled from other districts which left most of the youths yawning on Nebbi streets,” he added.

Pakwach district chairperson Mr Steen Omito who was present at the recruitment centre also said he witnessed unfairness.

“Such recruitments should be transparent and rightful people should be given opportunity,” he remarked.

Responding to the claims, the UPDF 4th Division spokesperson, Capt. Hassan Kato Hassan, dismissed the allegations emphasizing that they were “unfounded.”

“We had a situation where one applicant, a lady by the name Irene Katushabe was doubted not to be from any of the districts here. She was later screened out and found to be an Alur. It is only that soldiers were given chances to bring in their children,” Capt. Kato said.

Hundreds of jobless Ugandan youths have been rejected in the army’s latest attempt to recruit at least 10,000 soldiers.


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