The Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) has begun the second phase of Local Defense Unit (LDU) recruitment with a screening exercise in Wankulukuku Lubaga division. The exercise is to seek the extra 18000 LDUs to beef up the recently deployed 6000 to reach the 24,000 personnel number that was ordered by President Yoweri Museveni. Authorities believe that with more LDUs violent crime will be defeated.
As early as 9:am, thousands of youths had begun to throng Wankulukuku Stadium in Rubaga division, for the screening exercise.
In Rubaga division, only 156 candidates were selected, despite the thousands that turned. The exercise is to last 16 days.
Col. Felix Abucha, the exercise commander, said,“ This exercise will take us 16 days and it will cover all the division in Kampala metropolitan. We are looking for only those persons residing in KMP and well known by the chairperson LC1, that is why it is the LC1s that are screening them.”
With mounting frustration and desperation as big numbers were turned away, several candidates tried to bribe and forge their way through the exercise. A host of them were apprehended
Maj. Katamba said,“Our intelligence has informed us that some people are taking money from potential recruits under the guise of recruiting them. It is UPDF recruiting and no one else and the process is free and only upon merit do we take on some one. We have so far arrested 3 on charges of extortion, obtaining money by false pretence and forgery”
During the selection process, many failed to pass through the physical military drills as part of the exercise. Others failed at the medical check up hurdle as unfit.
The selected will be taken to Kaweweta Military Training School to begin intensive drills.
Last year, President Yoweri Museveni ordered for the revival of Local Defense Unit following simultaneous gun violence incidents in Kampala. Despite the 6000 that were passed out a few months ago and deployed, there has been little or no difference in the security situation, with more gun related murders reported over subsequent months.