Over 800 Karamojong youth in Moroto district have missed a chance of joining Uganda People’s Defence forces after failing to meet the grade.
A number of youth on Monday turned up at Moroto Boma grounds where the recruitment exercise is ongoing but many were eliminated over lack of academic documents, while others failed to meet the required age bracket.
According to the advertisement, UPDF announced the recruitment exercise to attract every composed and patriotic Ugandans ready to serve in the regular professional and specialized units.
The recruitment of 10,000 Ugandans has been running since June 18th and ends on June 25th June throughout the country.
Maj. Isaac Oware, the 3rd division spokesperson said the recruits were required to have a Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) certificate or slip and aged between 18 to 25 years.
According to Oware, there are several reasons why some candidates were eliminated from the exercise which includes lack of proper academic documents and recommendation letters from the leaders and forgeries.
Oware noted that many candidates expressed their interest to join the forces but unfortunately they were blocked by standards set for eligibility and Moroto center had a target of only 24 successful applicants.
He said the said those who succeed to join as Local Defence Personnel will later be elevated to UPDF
Isaac Lokol, the LC3 chairperson for South Division in Moroto municipality said that the adverts they received confused them and they could not tell the exact number of applicants needed.
Lokol noted that many of their youth did not meet the required qualification and this created an opportunity for the people from outside Karamoja to grab the chance.
He attributed the failures to the high illiterates’ levels which the government should address to avoid other opportunities by passing the locals.
John Robert Adupa, the LC3 Lotisan sub county, has the same experience saying it was only one candidate in the whole sub county who expressed interest to join the forces but he was also lacking some other academic documents.
Adupa noted that some applicants who were not Karamojong natives bribed the area local chairpersons to write for them introductory letters posing to be Karamojong so that they get opportunity
However, Orsbon Lopeyok, a resident of Nakapelimen village in Moroto municipality whom URN found observing the exercise said there were many irregularities engulfed in the recruitment process.
Lopeyok noted that there was a lot of bribery at the scene which could have led many Karamojong youths to be left out.
‘’I saw the officers in charge of recruitment making phone calls throughout and I discovered there was something wrong, indeed after a few minutes, they came with their list reading only non Karamojong names, the phone calls were for bribes,” said Lopeyok.
Lopeyok said that he thought the recruitment would take way the warriors who are terrorizing people in karamoja unfortunately none of them was absorbed which is still a big threat to the security of the region.
George William Wopuwa, the resident district commissioner in Moroto said there is a need to review the design of education in Karamoja so as to lower the illiterates’ levels.
Wopuwa also noted that the good turn up of applicants reflects that the people’s attitudes towards UPDF has changed and it’s now positive attracting even the graduates.