Hundreds of applicants who wished to join the Uganda People’s Defence Forces–UPDF—were turned away at the recruitment centre for Greater Mbarara.
Hundreds of youth from the districts of Isingiro, Ibanda, Kiruhura and Mbarara which form the greater Mbarara area had arrived at Kakyeka stadium which is the area’s recruitment centre.
The recruitment team was however unable to absorb the hundreds of numbers that turned up which were far beyond the targeted recruits.
The exercise has been going on targeting senior four leavers who completed in the years 2014 and 2015.
Out of the hundreds of the youth that turned up, the recruitment team only needed a total of 105 from all the four districts.
They included 17 from Ibanda, 34 from Isingiro, 22 from Kiruhura and 32 from Mbarara.
According to the recruitment team leader, Colonel Jeff Mukasa, the slots were determined basing on the population of the districts.
Mukasa adds that the bigger turn up is a blessing since it gives them a chance to choose the best.
He says that most of those turned away had finished their senior four before 2014 while others were not physically fit to handle training.
Col Mukasa says that the exercise left out female recruits because they were only needed as professionals at the national level.
The recruitment for professionals took place on October 17 at Kololo Grounds in Kampala.
A lady a one Scovia Nyangoma who had turned up in Mbarara for the exercise only to find that the recruitment team was not taking any female recruits said females too have the capacity of performing well just like the males do.
Joshua Tukashaba , from Ibanda district, is one of those that were turned away.
He says that he finished senior four in 2013 and thought that he would be taken.
He says that he had high hopes that joining the army would be a great achievement since he has always longed to serve in the forces.
Martin Biryomunsi, from Kikagate in Isingiro district, claims that the recruitment team was biased.
He completed senior four in 2010 which technically knocks him out but he alleges that some of the recruits that were considered completed in the same year and others did before him.
He says that the exercise is not fair claiming that some people were considered after receiving phone calls directing that they should be considered.
The recruitment team has however rubbished the claims by Biryomunsi saying that once you do not qualify, it would be better to understand the situation and go on with other activities