Thousands of people on Monday turned up as the UPDF started the second phase of the recruitment exercise for Local Defence Unit personnel in various parts of the country.
The army recently announced the second phase that would see 13000 recruited into the Local Defence Units.
The UPDF spokesperson, Brig.Richard Karemire in a statement said they were overwhelmed by the big numbers that turned up at Gulu Pece Stadium, Lyantonde District Headquarters, Kaabong District Headquarters, Lamwo District Headquarters and Wankulukuku Stadium for Lubaga residents in Kampala where the recruitment exercise was being carried out.
“A simple analysis carried out indicates that as of today by 9 O’clock, the turn up at the various recruitment centres was ranging from 200 – 1,000% well above the required numbers,”Brig.Karemire said.
In March, a total of 6000 LDU recruits were passed out after completion of a four –month military training at Kaweweta in Nakaseke district and they were deployed in various parts of the Kampala Metropolitan area.
However, the group has received bashing from the public for carrying out violent arrests whereas others have been accused of torturing people.
Speaking during the second phase of the recruitment exercise, the army spokesperson said the big turn up was a demonstration of the belief that the public has in being part of their own security.
“The big turn up demonstrates the commitment and trust people have in being part of the country’s security architecture that supports the UPDF doctrine of a small, professional, well equipped army, backed by a large reserve force,”Brig.Karemire said.
“This will no doubt form part of the existing strong base to sustain peace and security of persons and their property thus enhancing prosperity and social economic transformation of the country.
He added that the public appreciates the role played by LDUs in solving their immediate security needs.
He said the recruitment exercise resumes today (Tuesday) in Kotido, Kitgum, Amuru, Kyotera and Old Kampala Secondary School grounds.
Following the gruesome murder of former Buyende District Police Commander ASP Muhammad Kirumira last year in Bulenga, along the Kampala- Mityana road, President Museveni announced a move by government to recruit 24000 Local Defence Unit personnel to beef up security in the greater Kampala area.
Museveni said these would reinforce the army and police to ensure security following the rising wave of criminality especially in the Kampala Metropolitan policing area and its soroudings.
“Kampala has 1000 villages and we shall fill them with man power and our guns will answer these criminals. We shall see which guns have more effect,”Museveni said.
The President’s idea meant that on average, each village in Kampala will have 24 LDU guards.
The army spokesperson, Brig. Richard Karemire recently said anyone willing to be recruited into Local Defence Units must be healthy, medically fit and ready to undergo medical, physical and body checks.
The army also insisted that those willing to join the recruitment exercise should be between 18 and 35 years of age and should have a minimum formal education of Primary Leaving Examination (P7) level certificate to S.4 and without any other formal employment.
“Letters of recommendation from LC1 chairpersons, LC1 secretaries for defence, PISO, DISO and GISO duly signed are a must. Recruits must have no criminal record and must be residents of the area.”