The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces have arrested five imposters in the ongoing recruitment drive for military prospects in the eastern region.

The suspects were arrested at the Jinja district headquarters, where shortlisted applicants from the districts of Jinja, Mayuge and Namutumba are being screened.

The head of the ongoing UPDF recruitment in Busoga sub-region Brig. Chris Ogwal says that the suspects have been handed over to Jinja Central Police Station for further reprimand. He adds that some of the culprits illicitly joined successful candidates during road runs, while others presented fake documents.

Ogwal adds that upon realizing that the numbers at the screening centres exceeded those shortlisted from the districts, they encouraged all impostors to peacefully surrender without any reprimand. A number of them came out but a few declined to heed this call resulting in their arrest.

Busoga sub-region is expected to contribute 767 personnel, but they have shortlisted over 1,325 candidates, whom they shall conclusively interview in a bid to fill the gaps of those who might fall off on medical grounds or other reasons.

Ogwal cites Jinja district, where 72 were shortlisted in anticipation of selecting 43 successful candidates, but only 34 met the criteria, prompting them to engage the force’s headquarters on how such gaps can be filled.

Ogwal further credits the overwhelming turning-up during recruitment exercises to the increased adherence to human rights during general training.

He observes that unlike the earlier armies which were subjecting trainees to inhumane treatment, UPDF is attracting a large number of individuals to freely join the force over their renowned track record in human rights observance.

Some of the unsuccessful participants who spoke on condition of anonymity blamed their misfortune on the lack of proper information on how to apply.

One of the youths from Jaguzi island in Mayuge district says that he was unaware of the pre-application process and had come with his documents thinking that applications are done on-site.

“Just like it has been the norm in the past, I got hold of the necessary documents, which had been approved by the GISO and local leaders, then I came to the Jinja district headquarters, expecting certification from the DISO, only to be informed that there were pre-application processes and the shortlisted candidates are the only ones being screened for possible recruitment,” he says.

He wants such procedures to be highly publicized over both community and FM radio stations, which are the major means of communication in rural communities, rather than over-reliance on social media.

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