Hundreds Turned Away as UPDF Recruits in Mbarara

3097 Views Mbarara, Uganda

In short
Hundreds of youth from the districts of Isingiro, Ibanda, Kiruhura and Mbarara arrived at Kakyeka stadium in Mbarara wishing to join the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces--UPDF. The recruitment team only needed a total of 105 from all the four districts, including 17 from Ibanda, 34 from Isingiro, 22 from Kiruhura and 32 from Mbarara.

Hundreds of applicants who wished to join the Uganda People's Defence Forces--UPDF-- have been turned away at the recruitment centre for Greater Mbarara.

Today morning, hundreds of youth from the districts of Isingiro, Ibanda, Kiruhura and Mbarara which form the greater Mbarara area had arrived at Kakyeka stadium which is the area's recruitment centre.

The recruitment team was however unable to absorb the hundreds of numbers that turned up which were far beyond the targeted recruits.

The exercise has been going on targeting senior four leavers who completed in the years 2014 and 2015.

Out of the hundreds of the youth that turned up, the recruitment team only needed a total of 105 from all the four districts. They included 17 from Ibanda, 34 from Isingiro, 22 from Kiruhura and 32 from Mbarara.

According to the recruitment team leader, Colonel Jeff Mukasa, the slots were determined basing on the population of the districts. Mukasa adds that the bigger turn up is a blessing since it gives them a chance to choose the best. He says that most of those turned away had finished before 2014 while others were not physically fit to handle training.

Col Mukasa says that the exercise left out female recruits because they were only needed as professionals at the national level. The recruitment for professionals took place on October 17 at Kololo Grounds in Kampala.

Scovia Nyangoma had turned up in Mbarara for the exercise only to find that the recruitment team was not taking any female recruits. She says females too have the capacity of performing well just like the males do.

Joshua Tukashaba, from Ibanda district, is one of those that were turned away. He says that he finished senior four in 2013 and thought that he would be taken. He says that he had high hopes that joining the army would be a great achievement since he has always longed to serve in the forces.

Martin Biryomunsi, from Kikagate in Isingiro district, claims that the recruitment team was biased. He completed senior four in 2010 which technically knocks him out but he alleges that some of the recruits that were considered completed in the same year and others did before him.

He says that the exercise is not fair claiming that some people were considered after receiving phone calls directing that they should be considered. 

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URN could not independently verify these allegations. The recruitment team has however rubbished the claims by Biryomunsi saying that once you do not qualify, it would be better to understand the situation and go on with other activities.

 

About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.