UPDF Falls Short of Recruitment Target in West Nile

UPDF recruitment officers in the West Nile are unhappy with the turn up potential recruits for the army. Far fewer people have shown interest in joining the UPDF in the districts off Nebbi, Zombo and Arua and army officials are puzzled as to why this is so. Colonel Dick Olum, the officer leading the recruitment team, says he is disappointed by the low turn up. He says that given the diverse nature of ethnicities and interests that exist in the West Nile he expected to find large crowds of young men and women lining up to join the armed forces. //Cue in: "I am not satisfied ..." Cue out: "... quite small."// In the past hundreds of people have tried to join the army. However even the most marginally qualified people have stayed away from the exercise that begun in Nebbi on march 15th. To qualify for the army a person must have a minimum of a Senior Four certificate. Colonel Olum says several unqualified people have been weeded out of the recruitment process. He says the UPDF is now a professional army interested in hiring only the most qualified personnel to join its ranks. //Cue in: "The UPDF is very well established ..." Cue out: "... gave them to police."// Several people who turned up for the exercise say they are dissatisfied with the process. Peter Adriko is one of the candidates who were turned away. He claims to have all the qualifications for the job and doesn't understand why he wasn't given a chance to join the army. The UPDF plans to recruit 280 cadets in this latest exercise. In Jinja, a call has been made to women to join the army in increasing numbers. Apollo Bwebale, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner of Jinja, says he is making the appeal to women particularly between the ages of 18 and 25. He says he is particularly interested in professional women, like teachers, doctors, nurses and social workers enlisting in the UPDF because their services are in high demand.


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