UPDF sets tough conditions for recruitment of LDUs, exercise goes online

LDU soldiers prepare to take position for range shooting at 4th Division training school Lugore in Gulu District. Photo By Julius Ocungi

By URN

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces –UPDF has revised the recruitment procedures for 10,000 Local Defence Unit –LDU soldiers in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Maj Charles Kabona, the UPDF First Division Spokesperson said that, unlike the previous recruitment process where interested people would converge at scheduled venues majorly playgrounds, this time applicants, will submit their handwritten letters expressing interest to the office of Resident District Commissioner –RDC.

“The applicants will submit handwritten application letters to the office RDC from 23rd -27th august 2021. Applications will be collected, verified and shortlisted. The successful candidates will be published in newspapers and pinned at district headquarters between 2nd – 16 September,” Maj Kabona said.

Another change is that applicants must be aged 18 to 29 years. In the previous recruitment exercises conducted in 2019 and early last year, even people who were over 35 years but healthy and energetic were recruited.

Qualifications for interested people range from being a citizen of Uganda, possessing a National Identity Card, with education standard of Uganda Certificate of Education- UCE obtained in the years of 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Those with artisan certificates, professional degrees, a diploma holder in civil engineering, electrical engineering as well those with vocational skills and medical qualifications have been urged to apply to join the LDU force.

“They must be physically fit ready to undergo medical and physical check-ups. Their marital status must be single with no child or children. The candidates must be of good conduct with no criminal record with letters of LCI, III and GISO with their appended signature,” Maj Kabona said.

President Yoweri Museveni ordered for recruitment of LDUs in 2018 after the then Arua Municipality MP Col Ibrahim Abiriga had been gunned down near his home area in Kawanda, Nansana Municipality, in Wakiso District.

In the first and second phases, UPDF recruited close to 20000 LDUs.

The first group constituted more than 6000 LDU, who were deployed in Kampala metropolitan area.

The second group had 12,000 LDUs who were deployed in among other areas of Masaka, Mityana, Jinja, Mbale, Soroti and Luweero.

Interested candidates have been cautioned against presenting forged certificates and letters from LCs and GISO. Maj Kabona said they will not hesitate to prosecute anyone who will appear with falsified academic papers.    

“Presentation and possession of the forged document is an offence and culprits are liable to prosecution into courts of law.  Covid19 SOPs will be adhered to at all stages. Lastly, the successful candidates will report on the respective recruitment centres on given dates,” Maj Kabona said.

A few days ago, Lt Col Ronald Kakurungu, warned the public against falling prey to fraudsters who take advantage of desperate people and fleece them money in the guise of helping them secure slots.

UPDF reminds Ugandans that the force does not ask people to pay any money to join because the recruitment process is always public and not done in the back door. People have been asked to report whoever will call or send messages asking for money for their relatives to be recruited.

“The recruitment venues will also be made known for everyone. Don’t be duped. Don’t be conned to pay money. UPDF doesn’t charge people to join its forces,” Lt Col Kakurungu said.

At the time Museveni ordered for recruitment of 24,000 LDUs, the country mostly Kampala metropolitan areas that includes Kampala City, Wakiso and Mukono districts were experiencing a spate of violent crimes among others assassinations, armed robberies, children and women kidnap. 

But security analyst Fred Egesa believes UPDF doesn’t need to recruit more LDUs. Egesa thinks the government should emphasize building intelligence networks from grassroots to the top.

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