Raphael Okema, a second year Public Administration student who turned up at the UPDF recruitment centre in Akii Bua stadium in Lira municipality, told Uganda Radio Network that he was forced to suspend his studies since this was the only opportunity for him to join the army.
Col. Jeff Kupe Mukasa, the head of the recruitment team in Gulu, says most applicants had god fathers pushing for their recruitment. He says the team had to disregard the pressure to achieve its target of 52 recruits from Gulu, Omoro, Nwoya and Amuru districts.
One person is in police custody after being arrested while soliciting money during the ongoing Uganda Peoples Defence Forces-UPDF recruitment exercise in Kyenjojo district. Isaac Kawonawo, the Kyenjojo Deputy Resident District Commissioner, says that Baguma claimed that he was a UPDF captain and a member of the recruitment team.
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.
Major Caesar Olweny, the spokesperson for the recruitment team, says only 14 people have been recruited from Kisoro District out of the required 19. He declined to reveal the number of those who have qualified from Rubanda and Kabale districts but says that the numbers are still low. According to Olweny, the quarters for the two districts are eight and 29 people respectively.
Only 25 recruits were picked from over 500 applicants in Kitgum and Lamwo districts. Lt. Col. Paul Opo Omara, the deputy recruitment team leader said many failed on medical grounds and lack of proper documentation.
A 3,000 man recruitment process will commence countrywide next week, the army has announced. The recruitment will be carried out for foot soldiers who are required for beefing up national security and supplementing the foreign deployments that the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) have undertaken.